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175 Years of a Christmas Classic Celebrated at Dickens’ Christmas Towne

with World-Renowned Art and an Enormous Book Giveaway

Norfolk, Va.— 175 years ago today, famed author Charles Dickens was finalizing a story that would completely change the way the world celebrates Christmas.  To commemorate the 175th anniversary of A Christmas CarolDickens’ Christmas Towne will give every child visitor a free copy of the classic book throughout the season.  Visitors will also enjoy “The Art of Christmas” – the first-ever U.S. exhibition of original book sketches by Christmas Carol illustrator, P.J. Lynch.  The Irish laureate for children’s literature is known around the world for his art.  His original preparatory drawings and paintings are presented by Union Bank & Trust and will be on display inside Dickens’ Christmas Towne.        

“When I lived in Brighton, I used to walk daily past a gravestone belonging to a man called Ebenezer Robbins, who died on Christmas Day in 1842,” said P.J. Lynch.  “In my mind, I felt sure that this man must have in some way inspired Dickens to create Ebenezer Scrooge in 1843.  And I knew that one day I would illustrate this extraordinary story.” 

Dickens’ Christmas Towne, a magical holiday village in the Decker Half Moone Center, opens on November 17 and establishes a festive mood from the moment you walk in, with strolling carolers, photos with Father Christmas, live music, shops and a variety of family-focused activities.  Among this year’s new offerings are themed tea parties, as well as “Scrooge’s Journey,” a theatrical presentation in the Town Square.  Returning favorites will include puppet shows, magic acts, juggling, an hourly indoor snowfall, Father Christmas, Geoffrey the talking Christmas tree, and an elaborate children’s craft corner.

Many thanks to Dickens’ Christmas Towne presenting sponsor, the Patricia & Douglas Perry Foundation, literary title sponsor the Goode Family Foundation, artist title sponsor Union Bank & Trust, entertainment sponsors TowneBank & the Taylor Foundation, as well as Waterside District, MacArthur Center, Howard M. Webb, Bess Decker & Family, Virginia Pilot Association, McGuire Woods, LLP, CBRE and Colonna’s Shipyard, Inc.

Dickens’ Christmas Towne runs November 17 through December 31, with special programming the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Admission is still just $5 for children (ages 3-12) and free for kids ages 2 and under.  Admission for adults is $7.50, and adult groups of 15 or more pay $6.  Rates do not include tax. 

Dickens’ Christmas Towne’s hours are:

Opening Weekend
Saturday, November 17, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 18, Noon – 6 p.m. 

Thanksgiving Weekend
Friday, November 23 & Saturday, November 24, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 25, Noon – 6 p.m.

November 30 – December 16
Fridays, 4 – 8 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sundays, Noon – 6 p.m.

December 17– 20, 4 – 8 p.m.
December 21 – 22, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
December 23, Noon – 6 p.m.
Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
December 26 – 29, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
December 30, Noon – 6 p.m.
New Year’s Eve, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information, visit


Release date: November 2, 2018
Contact: Beth Bilderback (757) 664-1017