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Dickens Christmas Fair 2006 August Missive #1
(sent August 2nd, 2006)

It is only 16 weeks (yes, 16 weeks) before opening day of the Dickens Christmas Fair and things are sailing along here in the 'ol Red Barn office.

New Dickens Dates
Dickens is a Christmas fair after all...  This year the calendar gives us an extra day, Saturday December 23rd, (half a fifth weekend!), and next year a full fifth weekend, December 22nd and 23rd 2007. The last year we had a fifth weekend was in 2000, Dickens first year in this era. Attendance has never been higher.  And boy do we need that to happen again! The reason that our Heart of the Forest Renaissance Faires didn't make it out of the warehouse this year was because of the quality vs. cash thing. The quality of our Ren Faire costs a lot. Dickens however, is even more expensive to produce but thankfully, gets consistently good attendance. The more days however, the more attendance.  With the extra day this year, we might see Dickens covering its costs including its year-round storage, for the first time – with everyone paid!

So, we are pleased to announce that Dickens, for the first time in 6 years is a 10 day show!!!

We realize that those of you who travel to visit family may not be able to make it for the last day this year.  We understand. Hopefully you can plan to be in town next year.  If you have family traveling here, bring 'em to the fair!  We will be happy to provide all participants with special family passes for the last day as a thank you.

100% of the vendors will have to make an extra effort to be open and then to tear down after Christmas, but they all know the value of being open for the last minute shoppers. We are still looking for Children's type crafts or activity style booths for the Fair so if  you know anyone who might be interested please send them our way.

Please help us be creative.  If you have a vignette or stage show that we have not had stage time for in the past, or if you have ideas for one you would like to put together, let us know.  We may have stage time on the last day that we need help filling.

Don't forget to invite family on the 23rd and come get those family passes at the pass house or operations office at the beginning of the run.

The Dickens Team
We wanted to let you know that our team for this years event is shaping up nicely; Shannon Wood-Damnivits has signed on to be our Marketing Director, taking a chunk off Kevin's plate and adding her considerable talents and experience. Denise Lamott returns as our publicist.  Amanda Sanow is back as our Graphic Artist. Carol Goodman returns for more beverage and catering abuse, David McCullough will likely encore as the best damn Production Manager ever (hold up your lighters), and speaking of lights, Ed Herny will power up our world for the 31st time (give or take), Kathy will be our costume supervisor and promotions person once again, and Mark, Leslie, and Kevin will continue their usual multi tasking ADD madness. And of course, your own missive maven, Cat Taylor will once again be fiddling around with the entertainment.

Newsflash: Mark informs that he has sold 15 bus tours already....yes they really do think about Christmas in July!  Perhaps it was the heat that drove them to dream of London in the winter.

We also have a new advertising agency, McWilliams Creative Marketing based in Pacifica. They specialize in events and already have developed a great plan including some new thing called gorilla marketing. More on that later.

The 2006 Schedule:
November 4 & 5          Workshops begin offsite in Pacifica (same as last year)
November 11 & 12      Vendor Steak out and build at CP (Workshops continue in Pacifica)
November 18 & 19      Build Continues, workshops and Dress at the CP

November 24th FRIDAY    DCF Opens
November 25 & 26        Weekend #1
December 2 & 3            Weekend #2
December 9 & 10           Weekend #3
December 16 & 17        Weekend #4
December 23                 Closing Day (not open Sunday)

We hope you are having a terrific summer and look forward to the gathering of the clan at the Cow Palace (and in Pacifica) in November.

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Link to Cat Taylor's Homepage