‘Drive Thru Dickens’ London’ Transforms Cow Palace’s Exterior for Safe Holiday Fun

“Drive Thru Dickens’ London” offers a taste of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair from the comfort of your vehicle.

Map of Drive Thru Dickens' London
A map of “Drive Thru Dickens’ London” at the Cow Palace. Image Courtesy of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Last year’s holiday festivities may have been lackluster for many people due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Yet this year the organizers of the usual Great Dickens Christmas Fair are pushing back the bah-humbug by holding a new physically distanced version of the yearly event.

This new approach is called “Drive Thru Dickens’ London” and it offers a taste of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair from the comfort of your vehicle. Designed as a safe way to enjoy many of the fair’s famous foods and shop for select handcrafted gifts, the event will feature multiple tableaux from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol along with two stages of continuous live music, dance, and comedy.

“While we weren’t able to produce our traditional Dickens Christmas Fair inside the Cow Palace this year, we decided to serve up Dickensian fun around the exterior of our beloved venue,” co-producer Kevin Patterson said. “It’s a whimsically ‘inside out’ experience with some fun surprises.”

A vehicle full of friends and family will encounter Dickensian street scenes as they travel around the exterior of the Cow Palace exhibition halls, where an enticing selection of hearty English foods, ales, ciders and nonalcoholic beverages, will be available for purchase at an outdoor version of the fair’s grand concourse.

“I usually get a ‘Pickwick Pass’ because coming to the Fair once isn’t enough,” long-time fan Suzanne Sellers Chowla said. “I have my tickets to come twice.”

Entertainments will include favorites such as Paddy West’s singing sailors, the lovable London Chimney Sweeps, Victorian Bobbies and many more.

“Dickens Fair at Home,” the online experience of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, will be reprised with yuletide videos, traditional recipes and craft activities as well as readings from Mr. Dickens and Father Christmas. New features will be posted each weekend beginning Saturday, Dec. 4.

“Our marvelous artists have lost the majority of their shows once again this year, but many have continued to create their fantastic works of art and make them available online,” co-producer and vendor manager Leslie Patterson said. “When you shop online you are buying directly from the artists, you help them survive until live shows and the Dickens Christmas Fair return in full.”

Drive Thru Dickens’ London

Date: Weekends through Dec. 19

Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City

Cost: $25 per vehicle

Website: www.dickensfair.com

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