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Dickens of a Christmas

Dickens of a Christmas

Dickens of a Christmas brings entertaining weekend to Historic Downtown Franklin

This year will mark the 30th year to celebrate Dickens of a Christmas in Historic Downtown Franklin!  Each second weekend in December, we travel back 150 years in time to a Main Street from the time of Charles Dickens, and the tradition continues this year Dec. 13-14, 2014, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Dickens of a Christmas is a free street festival, is open to the public, and is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors over the weekend.

Produced by the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County and Downtown Franklin Association, Dickens of a Christmas is often listed as a  Top 20 event in the Southeast by the Southeastern Tourism Society.

More than 250 volunteers participate in the event as characters from Dickens’s stories, vendors or street performers. Show up any time over the course of the weekend, and you’re sure to meet Ebenezer Scrooge, his unfortunate partner Marley (the ghost in chains), little Tiny Tim Cratchit and his family, and many more, including Father Christmas.

In addition to more than two dozen street performers, there are many scheduled performances throughout the event.

Other activities include:

  • Horse-drawn carriage rides around the Public Square for $2 per person.John Fraser, Historic Franklin Book_small
  • A holiday bazaar arts & crafts area encircles Franklin’s charming Public Square.
  • Dancers and street musicians on Main Street throughout the event. Violinists, hand bell choirs, harpists, carolers and even a water harmonica player all add to the entertaining street scene.
  • Costumed characters from Dickens’s stories interacting with visitors on the street. Scrooge bellows his “Bah! Humbug” while the Cratchit family parades the streets with Tiny Tim. Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future make regular appearances. Urchins under the direction of the nefarious Fagin from Dickens’s Oliver pester English Bobbies (who are actually Franklin Police Officers on duty in costume). Father and Mother Christmas delight children.
  • Victorian treats abound, from authentic fish ‘n’ chips to turkey legs, roasted nuts, kettle corn, roasted corn, roasted pork, sausages and sugar plums.
  • Everyone is invited to join the Town Sing starting at the Public Square at 4:30 p.m. Sunday with candles ($1 donation requested) and song sheets.Dickens of a Christmas is free and open to the public, presented by The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and its division, the Downtown Franklin Association, which seeks to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.
  • Getting there: From Interstate 65, take Exit 65 and head west toward Franklin for three miles on Highway 96/Murfreesboro Road/Third Avenue South, which runs into the Public Square at the heart of the festival. Turn right or left at Church Street as you approach the Square to access either of the two free parking garages on Fourth Avenue South or Second Avenue South. Additional on-street free parking is available.

For information on corporate sponsorships or general info on Dickens of a Christmas, contact Krista Dial at

To apply for street or stage performance opportunities at Dickens of a Christmas, complete this online application.