What the Dickens is happening at Grassington festival?

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Thousands of visitors enjoyed taking a trip back in time to experience a piece of history on the opening weekend of Grassington’s Dickensian Festival.

On Saturday, festival-goers were treated to a glimpse of a rare 1844 specially-bound edition of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which was on public view inside the Grassington Museum.

And as visitors walked around the traditional Christmas market they enjoyed a wide variety of musical performances and traditional Victorian street entertainment.

Shopkeepers and stall holders were dressed in authentic clothing.

This Saturday, a parade led by Barnoldswick Band, will kick off the day’s festivities at 11am before Mr Vic, the town crier, officially opens the festival at 11.15am.

The band will then play in the main square from 11.20am, followed by a harmony singing performance by Baccapella at 12.15pm.

The town crier will herald the day’s events at 12.45pm and at 1pm Santa’s procession will depart the main square via Main Street before heading to his grotto in Pletts Barn.

Festive saxophone music will be played in the main square at 1.05pm, followed by mummer’s play and jiggery by Penny Plain Theatre Company at 1.30pm and morris dancing by Leeds Morris Men at 2pm. Settle Voices will perform at 2.30pm and Barnoldswick Band will return at 3pm.

In the top square, Punch and Judy shows will be staged at 11.30am and 1pm, and Penny Plain Theatre Company will present a mummers’ play and jiggery at noon. Then at 12.30pm the Leeds Morris Men will give performance and Baccapella will sing at 2pm. The Methodist Church will host a performance by the Grassington Handbell Ringers at 2.15pm.

Around the village throughout the day there will be an urban circus, living statues, walk-about magic shows, side shows, shoe shine boys, braziers, buskers and chestnut sellers. As well as the outdoor Christmas market, there will be an indoor Christmas craft fair in the town hall.

Most of the day’s activities will conclude with community carol singing by the bandstand and a torchlight nativity procession leaving the main square at 4pm.

At 8pm Grassington Players present their Christmas show – Sherlock Holmes and the Grassington Mystery in the town hall. Tickets are available at Grassington Hub by ringing 01756 752222.

The third and final Dickensian is on Saturday, December 14. The festival is a free event, but there is a fee of £8 per car for park and ride from Threshfield Quarry.

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