Celebrate the holidays at Dickens in Dundee

  • The Dickens in Dundee Spirit of Christmas Parade makes its way from Main Street in West Dundee across the Fox River to East Dundee last year. This year's parade steps off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

      The Dickens in Dundee Spirit of Christmas Parade makes its way from Main Street in West Dundee across the Fox River to East Dundee last year. This year's parade steps off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2017

Posted11/29/2018 6:00 AM

Dickens in Dundee is a tradition for many in East and West Dundee as a way to kick off the season and get into the holiday spirit, according to Kim Tibbetts, executive secretary for the village of West Dundee.

The two-day festival, now in its 31st year, runs Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, at various locations in both villages. Admission is free; some activities have a fee. For a complete schedule of events and locations, visit www.dickensindundee.org.


The Daily Herald checked in with Tibbetts to learn what festivalgoers can expect this year.

Q. What's new this year? Any changes?

Tibbetts. For the past several years, the "Fezziwig's Festivities" have been held at the VFW. Prior to that, Emmett's hosted this community open house. This year, RocHaus (96 W. Main St., West Dundee) will open their doors for the musical entertainment and community camaraderie that Fezziwig's Festivities engenders. The lineup of entertainment (on Friday) is as follows:

6-7 p.m.: Dundee-Crown Jazz Combo

7-7:30 p.m.: Boys & Girls Club "Blue Voices" Choir

7:30-8 p.m.: Dundee-Crown Chamber Choir

8-9 p.m.: Controlled Burn

The Living Windows continue to evolve each year, as storefronts change hands from one business or property owner to another, and new, fun ideas are put into action for window themes.

Aside from the window displays, one change that many will be happy about is that CRAFT Donuts + Coffee will be open for business during Living Windows. Other businesses, including Boxwood and DeWitt Salon, will hold open house events, and the dining establishments will be open for business.

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Unfortunately, swell gallery has closed, and therefore the Holiday Arts, Crafts and Vintage Market that has been held the past nine years during Living Windows will not be available.

Q. What's the same this year?

Tibbetts. We strive to maintain the traditions of Dickens in Dundee from year to year. Residents can anticipate the same basic structure of activities in West Dundee as they have enjoyed in the past. This includes visits with Santa in the board room at the village hall on Friday night and the tree lighting outside the village hall at 7 p.m., as well as the parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, followed by crafts, a petting zoo, the Festival of Trees at Grafelman Park, and gingerbread house decorating in the lower level of First United Methodist Church, all until 1:30 p.m., and a reading of "A Christmas Carol" at the Mansion Bed and Breakfast following at 1:30 p.m.

Q. What are most popular events at the festival, or attendees' favorites?

Tibbetts. The Living Windows on Friday and the parade on Saturday are always extremely popular activities, and we expect this year to be no different. We also believe that many will take advantage of the opportunity to visit RocHaus and hear local musicians perform on stage.

This is a great opportunity for those who have not yet visited the renovated theater to come in and take a look and a listen.

The activities at Grafelman Park are also always a big hit, and many families take advantage of the opportunity to buy a fully constructed gingerbread house, complete with all of the decorations needed, for only $15.

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