Sent 12/14/17
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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2017 - December Missive #2
Notes from your Missive Maven:
Thank you all for all your hard work to make the 35th Great Dickens Christmas Fair such a wonderful and successful event! Thank you also for your patience when those little challenges pop up as they always do. I would most especially like to thank all the directors and assistant directors for all their efforts and most notably Robert Young and Rickie Bolin; without whom we couldn't do what we all love to do.

There's been wonderful interaction with our guests this year, please continue that wonderfulness and allow our guests priority seating in our theaters and eating areas.

Please check all the important notices below, there are quite a few.

Have a wonderful closing weekend!


Please remember to contact the folks referenced in each notice below, rather than hitting "reply".

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Cat Taylor
Entertainment Director & Missive Maven
In This Missive

`There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,' returned the nephew. `Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -- apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that -- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!

Scrooge's Nephew Fred
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Miracle - Closing Weekend of the 2017 Annual
Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party!

It cannot possibly be closing weekend already!  We were just gathering for Dress Rehearsal a minute ago...  
The designer elves were hiding behind their wooden wall in Fezziwig's, painting away at the new mural, the vendors were putting the finishing touches on their lovely booths, the cast of Trial by Jury was deciding what seat in the house they would magically pop up out of to the surprise of the customers, and the newly expanded Children's area was still a pile of carpets and decorations.  This year has gone by so fast it really does feel like a Christmas Miracle.  There were so many improvements and embellishments, large and small, that each of you worked hard to create, the overall feeling of beauty and liveliness was pervasive.  It has indeed been another miraculous season overall.   A healthy and happy experience for all who joined us, and all who took part.   
This year, once again, has demonstrated the importance of the art form we create together.  Let this 2017 Fair Season warm our hearts, brighten up the shorter days, and inspire us all year long.   One way we can continue this feeling is to make things happen throughout the year that support the arts.  Look for ways to teach what you know to others, young and old.  Share your talents as a craftsman, a singer, a writer, an actor, or a dancer.  The arts, trades and hand crafts are going to be more and more important in the coming years.  They foster human connection, providing a healthy offset to screen time, and so very many other positive influences.  They even have a lighter carbon footprint in the world!
This was another successful season.  Our select day ticketing is continuing to help balance attendance, and the new layout created noticeably better flow.  The Cow Palace allowed us to take matters into our own hands to fix and improve air flow and as a result, the Fair became cooler and a much more comfortable experience for everyone.   Customer feedback confirms this, but we still have more to do next season.   For the first time, the Cow Palace is allowing us to leave our ventilation system in place so we will have the time and resources to make it even better next year.   
Each of us can be very proud of the part we play in this ongoing creative accomplishment we call The Great Dickens Christmas Fair.  Thank you for creating it with us.  Let it warm your heart and provide you with creative inspiration throughout the year!
Yours in merriment,
Kevin & Leslie Patterson

Chanukah at Fezziwig's & Mr. Alan Jeffries

(from Dave Batzloff)
Join us this weekend (both days) from 5:20 to 6:00 Fezziwig's Warehouse party will be celebrating Chanukah, with appropriate sounding music and seasonally appropriate dance names.

(from Jeffrey Schoenberg)
You don't have to be Jewish! Once again we will be celebrating Chanukah at Mr. Jeffries' shop after closing on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday will be close to 7:30 so folks can still enjoy the Solstice Dinner. Sunday will probably be a little later since Sunday is always a soft (late) close. Just a few brachot, a little camaraderie, and maybe a few songs. Celebrating light and miracles as we find them.

Last Day Pranks & Libations

(from Cat Taylor & Therese Porter )

We made it through a fabulous five week run! We don't have to remind you (but we will) to give our patrons the same high quality show that we've been providing for the previous four weekends. If you "conscientiously feel it is your duty" to do some sort of last day prank, please keep it period appropriate and theatrically valid.

If you can't do a prank that
#1 Is in period and doesn't break the illusion of Victorian England
#2 Is in proper costume and consistent with your character and the show
#3 Is not disruptive, cruel or incongruous/anachronistic
#4 Adds to customer enjoyment, does not detract from it

Don't do it. 

If you have any questions or concerns, consult your Director.

Also, although many of us enjoy an occasional cup of holiday cheer, those of us who do are reminded to be responsible in their libationary indulgences.

Closing Evening - Please Pack Up Before Partying

Before you celebrate the end of a successful run Sunday evening, please make sure that all your costumes, musical instruments, makeup and other personal belongings are packed out of your backstage areas.  Please don't leave a mess for our deco crew to clean up when they're putting things away at the stages. They will make sure there are plenty of trash receptacles for food and beverage items as well as performance and backstage items you don't want to keep.  Random items will be thrown away when the packing starts.

If you have large items such as furniture, mirrors, chairs etc., please make arrangements for their removal and storage before Sunday night.  Assuming deco will pack away in a road box without prior communication may result in the items being left behind or disposed of.  

Please see specifics in the section on Load Out & Closing Procedures.  Leaving a space as one found it is an honorable and virtuous thing to do! (I learned that in Girl Scouts ~ Cat)

Our crews have a lot of work to do and also want to celebrate the season, please be thoughtful.

Notes from Operations/Found Items to Coat Check

(from Mark Solum)

Reminder: Pass House Hours
Closing Saturday: 8am-4pm
Closing Sunday: 8am-4pm
Closing Procedures
You are responsible for removing all of your personal items from the venue as quickly as possible. Our teams move fast and we cannot work around piles of personal objects left in the venue.
Booths & Environmental Areas
Please pick up and remove all trash left by yourself or others in your areas.
Please sweep your general area to the roadway after clearing out.

Found Items
Please remember to take any found items to the coat check near Fezziwig's.

Reminder to always carry your pass - and be prepared to show it.
Please remember that only current participants with passes are allowed to stay for after hours festivities.

Kids with Lice
We had 2 occurrences of lice on children participating in the fair this past weekend.  They were pulled off the set and sent home immediately.  We are taking steps to clean the children's area, including linens, hats and costume pieces, and will be inspecting all children upon arriving back at the Toy Box.  Parents, please take the time to inspect your children thoroughly, treat if needed, and please keep them home if you do find anything.  We are confident that we caught it in time, and there is little chance for a larger outbreak, but please take the time to check.

(from Liz Martin)

It is so very hard to believe that we are approaching our final weekend of Dickens. This season has flown by. As always, the citizens of London have never looked better: whether clean and sparkly or grimy and dull you all rose to the occasion and blossomed!

Closing Weekend Costume Shop Hours:
Sat & Sun 8 am-ish - 7:30p.

There may be times during closing weekend that the costume shop is closed. We will leave a note with the time we hope to return. 

If you have received an email from our FastTrack coordinator, please make sure you stop by the costume shop to complete the process.

Our hours of operation for the final weekend of 2017 are 9:30am to 11:30am. Please note that if you do not complete the registration process you will have to go thru full costume approval next year. Thank you for your cooperation.

Please, please bring your items as soon as possible. You don't have to wait till 7:30 on Sunday evening to return things!
Please be prepared to settle up your accounts when you come in. Keep in mind that we take plastic, checks or cash. Terianne, Cat or Val are available to help you.

We love donations! Thank you to those of you who have left items on the door this season. If you have costume pieces that you would like to donate, please bring them by.

Unofficial Notice Regarding Tiara Day
For several years now, closing Sunday after 5pm has been unofficially tiara day. It is with unofficial regret that this must come to an end. What started as a simple lark has grown to a fair wide penny drop. We owe it to our closing guests to give them the same level of accuracy that we gave to those on previous weekends.
Thank you for joining with me in ending this unofficial practice.

Thinking Ahead
I would like to suggest that you take a moment over the weekend to scan your costume and all your bits and pieces. Make a note of the items that need to be replaced and leave yourself a reminder where you'll see it about August or September of next year.

Thank You!
I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank the dedicated and amazing people who populate the Dickens Fair Costume Shop: Alexandria, Scott, Liesl, Cat, Terianne, Val, Jacquie, Camar, Jolie, Susan and Rosemary  as well as the FasTrak team: Dell, Dale, Kelly and Lynn! I could not do what I do without you. 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Load Out & Closing Procedures - Please Read

(from Drew Patterson) 

Thank you for another wonderful season! As soon as the final sweep passes your area on Sunday you may begin tear down!

Exit Procedures:
1. You are responsible for removing all of your personal items from the venue as quickly and safely as possible. Our teams move fast and we cannot work around piles of personal objects left in the venue.
2. Please pick up and remove all trash left by yourself or others in your areas.
3. Please sweep your general area to the roadway after clearing out.
4. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE return all BORROWED folding tables, chairs, ladders, brooms, tools, coolers, mirrors, whatever it may be (to Production).
5. Environments & Shows ~ If you stored with us last year, or if you plan to for the first time this year, please email me your needs or find me at the Production desk during Load-out.

Trash and unclaimed stuff:
1.  PLEASE remove all trash from your areas into the trash cans provided all over the venue. If you cannot find an empty trash can or red dumpster, please let the production team know and we will provide one (and liners if needed). Trash, especially glass and other sharp objects present a significant hazard to everyone's safety so THANK YOU for helping us to keep the process of load-out as safe and easy as possible.
2.   Personal items left in the venue after closing Sunday, are very likely to disappear. PLEASE do not leave personal effects in the venue unless they are NEATLY STACKED and CLEARLY LABELED as yours or your booth/group. We move very fast once the show is over and cannot be responsible for anything being left in the building past closing night. Neatness and communication (labeling) make a huge difference!  

Load Out Dates and Hours
December 17 - Fair closes at 7:00 PM. Once Security sweep passes, the venue becomes a construction zone. Drive on will be allowed after 9:00pm. Take all personal belongings home and use caution in venue. All company costumes, props, and tools should be returned to the Production area. Building closes at 11:00pm.
December 18 - 23 - Venue open from 8:00am to 11:00pm for take down - DON'T DELAY! Do it today! Items left behind RBP built areas may be packed or tossed. No lost and found guarantee.
December 24 - Venue limited hours for Christmas Eve 8:00am - 4:00pm.
December 25 - CLOSED
December 26-28 - Venue open from 8:00am to 11:00pm.
December 29 (FRIDAY) - Venue open at 8:00am. Absolute final DEADLINE for removal of all personal and show items is NOON December 29th.
December 30-31 - Shipping all stored items to the warehouse.

Drew Patterson
Production Manager

Annex Load-Out

The overall venue hours will be the same but all items must be loaded out by December 22nd at the latest, so the road boxes can be loaded in.

What Shouldn't Go in the Privies...

Please do not put diapers, paper towels, baby wipes or other garbage into the portable toilets, they stop up the pumping hoses. Thanks.

Operation Santa Claus Toy Drive ~ Last Chance!

The Operation Santa Claus folks at Daly City Fire Department have informed us that some of the toys collected are being shared with the Santa Rosa Fire Department to help children affected by the North Bay fires. 

If you can, please consider donating new, unwrapped toys by dropping them off at the pass house this weekend. Your gifts of toys for needy children would be gratefully appreciated!

Buck and Mug On Sale Now!

(from Jason Adajian)

Thank you for your submissions! It is with great pleasure that we announce the publication of this season's Special Dickens Christmas Fair Edition of the Buck and Mug, our community's venerable and wacky rag sheet that is Still Only Five Dollars! Buy your copy this weekend at the Pale Moon shop, at Mister Brown's Coffee and Teas, The Bruno Academy of Music or from Michael Kember and other sellers who will be roaming about...

R.E.S.C.U. News

(from Diane "Kat" Gehling)
We have raised $2,265.00 this year!  Let's keep it going and go for over the $2,500 mark so that with Red Barn's match, we will be over $5,000!  Tickets will be on sale till 4:00 on Saturday at the R.E.S.C.U. Table across from the Pass House as well as from Kat as she walks around in the morning.  

Ticket prices are:   1 ticket = $1
6 tickets = $5
12 tickets = $10
25 tickets = $20

Don't forget if you are running short on cash, we do take square!

The RESCU Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to promote and maintain the health and medical well-being of the participants of Renaissance Faires, historical performances and other artistic events through financial assistance, advocacy, education and preventative programs.  Simply put, we are an organization that raises money by faire people to help faire people.

Drawing will be held on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.  You do not need to be present to win.  We just need to know where to find you.  If you do win on Saturday and we cannot get your present to you, you will receive a text from us Saturday night.

We have so many wonderful items that have been donated: mugs by Ballina Bay and the Madera Cup Company; Ceramic from Schulps, Lodema, Victorian Paintress and Pale Moon; Dickens Classic Books from Fitz-Gerald Personal Library;  variety of jewelry from Benitez, Taylor, Time Trinkets, Astrolabes, Coin Strike, Real Rose and Book Earrings plus much, much more.  Also don't forget our 7 specialty drawings: 1 - $200 G.C. for Mr. Alan Jeffries, 1 - $350 G.C. for a corset from Butterfly Frillies Corsets, 1 - $50 G.C. for Nana's Nursery, High Tea for 2 G.C. at Cuthberts, Dinner for 2 at the Tippling Toad, Damsel in this Dress Corset (on display by the R.E.S.C.U. Table),  & a Baby Quilt donated by the Irish Chain.

If you are in need of an application.  Please stop by our table and pick one up or go to our website:


Reminder: Solstice Party ~ Saturday Evening

(from Kevin & Leslie Patterson)

The Light Returns!   

Dickens Fair Participants are invited to gather for the fifth annual "Simple Solstice" Dinner with Music and Merriment on Saturday of final weekend, December 16th at 7:45 PM.  Seating for dinner is limited.

We will once again be serving a delicious Buffet from far off Cathay, prepared by our friends at Ng's Cafe.  You must RSVP via this page by purchasing your ticket.  The price for dinner is $12.00.  Please don't forget to bring your confirmation print-out (ticket).   As in days of old, seating will be arranged in two long tables with festive decorations of green and gold!  The Mermaid will be open to all participants with $3 beers & free soft drinks from 7:45 PM to 10 PM (even if you are not joining us for dinner).  Gate pass required.  Thank you!  Please note: The Bromley will begin our gathering at 7:55 so please arrive on time.  Dinner will be served promptly at 8:15.

We hope to see you there.

Tickets available through Eventbrite at the following link:

The Password is:

PEERS' Victorian 12th Night Ball ~ December 28th

PEERS' Victorian 12th Night Ball
Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig invite you to their annual Victorian 12th Night Ball - with special guest Charles Dickens and a "surprise" visit from Her Majesty Queen Victoria. This gala event will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018, at the beautiful Alameda Elks Lodge at 2255 Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda. This year we'll be taking over the entire Lodge - with an evening of Victorian dancing to the elegant music of Bangers & Mash in the Grand Ballroom; chat in the Edwardian salon; and a riotous party in Mr. Fezziwig's  spacious wine cellar with Mad Sal, the cast of "Oliver Twist," keyboard wizard Nine-Fingered Fanny, and the finest bar in London! Special intermission performances by the Peerless Music Hall and Mr. Charles Dickens himself! Victorian costume (1837-1870) or modern evening dress is admired, but not required.
Tickets are $20 in advance(by December 28); $25 at the door. For ticket information, see If you have any questions, email us at
Cathleen Myers, PEERS

Reminder: Facebook Ride Sharing Group 

Just a reminder that there is a Dickens Fair ride sharing group at

If you need a ride to the fair or workshops, you can post there. Even better, if you can offer a ride, please post there! Thanks!   

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Contact Information
For specific questions regarding performing at the Fair, please email Cat Taylor
If your group would like to perform at the Fair for just one day (school caroling groups, etc.) 
please email Robert Young
For specific questions regarding vending at the Fair please email Vendors
For specific questions the beverage department please email Beverage
For questions regarding costumes, please email Costumes
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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, Red Barn Productions,PO Box 1768, Novato, CA 94948
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