About the Dickens Village Festival

Garrison’s Dickens Village Festival will delight and entertain families from across North Dakota, eastern Montana and southern Canada at the annual Dickens Festival.

The event turns a community of 1,500 into a quaint Victorian town from the era of Charles Dickens’. Beginning Thanksgiving week, the Dickens Village Festival runs three consecutive Fridays and Saturdays and the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Old-fashioned English meals, English High Teas, decorated house tours, and Piccadilly Square Craft Vendor Show, street food vendors, street urchins and street carolers, a lighted Main Street parade at dusk and a full musical production each evening are highlights of this festival that continues to increase in popularity. Ride on an authentic English double decker bus or enjoy a carriage ride. Each afternoon offers afternoon entertainment of everything from top-drawer vocalists to gospel singers and quartets. Garrison merchants also join in the fun as employees dress up in their favorite Victorian garb to serve customers.

As the official Christmas Capitol of North Dakota, Garrison and its Dickens Village Festival are a must for anyone who wants to turn the holiday season into a special experience year after year. 

For more information please call us at 1.800.799.4242. 

The Very Beginning

Yes you have it- it’s been 20+ years of the Dickens Village Festival!  The extraordinary event began in 1994, when Pat Koenig had a vision to put on “A Christmas Carol” play production through the Sakakawea Area Council for the Arts.  Jude Iverson teamed up with Pat and the brainstorming began- creating the Dickens Village Festival happening over 3 weekends.  The McLean County Independent stated that the original idea was to unite the community, both merchants and residents, with one theme during the holiday season and it did just that.  From the very beginning, the Dickens Village Festival has not only grown to become the premier event during a North Dakota winter, but also has become an event that brings our community working together to create a Victorian village.  Since the start, things have grown but there are many things that still remain the very first image and thought of the Dickens Village Festival. 

A look at the 1st Dickens Festival:
- Organization of the event consisted of 10 committees: downtown decorating, park decorating, business promotion, transportation, resource, residential decorating, tours & food, outdoor activities, crafts & activities, public promotion, and ideas.
- Play Production: 57 member cast, $6.00/ticket, drew about 1,400 people
- House Tours: Robin’s Nest, Norlan & Marge Nelson home, First Congregational Church; $2.00/ticket
- Street Food Vendors: Baked potato on a stick (Dick Hendrickson), Pickled Fish (Garrison Fire Department), Apples (Bob Callies Elementary teachers), Hot-cross-buns (St. Paul Lutheran Church)
- Information Center: Garrison Motel
- Other activities: First Congregational English High Tea, English Market Craft Show, and more.