BY BROOKE WANSER
Two hundred musicians, dancers and characters from old England will fill the streets of downtown Franklin on Dec. 9 and 10 as the popular recreation of Charles Dickens classics commences for the 32nd year.
This year, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County is adding an ice skating rink to the festival, which will be open during festival hours with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Saturday.
A temporary rink will be erected near Franklin City Hall.
Fagin from “Oliver Twist,” Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim Cratchit “A Christmas Carol” will be among characters that delight; Father and Mother Christmas will also be on hand to give out treats to children.
Live music will include a Grammy-award winning band, a Christmas carol sing-along and special performances by community choir groups on Sunday.
The Lucky Scruff beard contest will take place at the main stage on Saturday, and more than 150 vendors will peddle their holiday wares at the event.
Regardless of weather and temperature, the Heritage Foundation promises festivalgoers snow on Main Street. A 40-foot tall Christmas tree will grace town square.
Dickens of a Christmas will close Sunday with a town sing at the Historic Presbyterian Church at 4:15 p.m.
First Avenue to Fifth Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic during the event.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10. The event is free and open to the public, though some attractions may involve a nominal fee.