The Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2015


What a wonderful time of the year to visit a most joyous place. A place you can let go of your inner child and frolic the streets of whimsy London, set back in the 1800s. Only running for two more weekends, this San Francisco event is a favorite among locals. This is the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. To see all photos from the past 3 years, please the Dickens Album. 

Grab a drink and discover the many treasures and things to do. A violinist will play you a beautiful song or teach you a thing or two about their craft.  

Keep your eyes out for Santa Claus, you may catch him in his sleigh or roaming the streets bringing joy and merry to everyone he meets. 

Get your fortune read at the Mystic and discover the many inventions of Professor Flockmocker's Laboratory in Ale House Alley. An electrical moon gun, no way!

I love the energy of the bar managers (above). Drink up, pay me. I still don't know if this was staged or if counting their cash with such confidence was just their personalities. Either way, well played. If you're not up for drinking, you can always reserve some tea time at Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe. 

There is as much to do for adults as there is for children. Play your hand at a game. Visit the wand shop, remember the wand chooses you. 

No Christmas Fair would be complete without a hair wreath. There are so many wonderful crafts brought to this fair by very talented artists. It is a treat to discover new gems. 

If you would like to check out posts from 2014, please visit the blog. Here is Part 1 and Part 2 from 2013 as well. 

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair: Part 2


The Great Dickens Christmas Fair took part on 5 weekends between November 23rd and December 22nd at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. It was a magical Christmas affair filled with spiritful and friendly entertainers, good food, and lots of vendors to see. I went back a second weekend and took pictures of all of these amazing entertainers. Mark your calendars for next year, running on weekends from November 22nd to December 21st. Be sure to not miss out on this delightful gathering!

Plenty of yummy hot toddies, irish coffees, and hot buttered rums to go around.

Hand drawn portraits by the artist in residence, Louis Nuyens. Need a new corset? Dark Garden Unique Corsetry has many options. These models posed as mannequins to show off the beautiful corsetry.

Try fencing at the Corinthian Rose Sporting Club. Around tea time, we headed over to Cuthbert’s Tea Shop for some sandwiches and tea. Make a reservation weekends in advance to secure a spot.

Have tea with the Red Queen and the white rabbit.

Musician // The Great Christmas Dickens Fair // Ashley Petersen Photo

Listen to some great music by The Conventry Carolers.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair: Part 1


It's that time of the year again. A time to wander the Dickensian streets of old London and immerse yourself in a Victorian wonderland. The amount of fun here is endless. Discover handmade crafts from vendors all over, watch a play at one of the many theaters, listen to carolers on one of the many stages, eat, drink and be merry. There are over 700 costumed players to entertain you at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. It's fantastic. And they NEVER break character. Quite entertaining.

As we slowly made our way through the Dickens Christmas Fair, I found a few vendors that I absolutely fell in love with their work.

Broom Magic, based out of Eugene, OR has been making brooms for over 30 years. The handmade quality is impeccable, not only is my new broom extremely functional as an everyday broom, I can't wait to use it as a prop in a photo shoot. Check out the variety of brooms on their website.

I also came across an antique key jewelry maker, called Storyteller Keys, based out of Atascadero, CA. She has various necklaces with keys, that she has been collecting for over 20 years. I found a treasure at this booth. My husband bought me a pocket watch necklace, but the really interesting part is that it is an old Russian watch and all the mechanical parts are exposed. Check out JoAnne's website at Storyteller Keys.

Next we headed over to Dancing Flame Candle, a magical place you can dip your own candles and customize the color. I made a really cute Christmas tree that can be used as a candle or as an ornament.

Don't miss....The absinthe tasting at The Bohemian Pub. The cinnamon crunch almonds from a trolley cart. English tea with cakes and sandwiches at Cuthbert's Tea Shop. Send a telegram to anyone at the Fair at the Central London Telegraph Co.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is running on the weekends from November 23rd to December 22nd at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA. Be sure to visit this magical place. For more information check out the Great Dickens Website.

I'll be heading back to the fair mid December to photograph more portraits. Stay tuned to a future blog post dedicated to the characters I meet there.