The Riverside Dickens Festival Returning to Downtown

The family-friendly Riverside Dickens Festival returns to downtown Riverside this month! This annual literary event is welcoming of all ages. With numerous attractions, this event has something for all. Bring your friends and family for some afternoon tea, arts and crafts, and live performances. 

What is the Dickens Festival? 

The Dickens Festival brings the past to life with actors in costume giving you the Victorian experience. It was founded in 1992 to promote literacy and provide educational entertainment. 

What Attractions Will There be? 

Victorian Life Drawing 

Art Instructor Curtin Green of Palos Verdes Art school will be teaching life drawing classes. This class is welcoming to all artistic skills. Models will be in full Victorian attire. Paper and pencils provided.  

Kids under 12 draw for free

Sponsored by Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster

Get your tickets here: 

Scavenger Hunt BINGO 

This free Bingo game challenges you to meet historical characters, enjoy new foods, try on Victorian costuming, and engage in free activities. 

Download your Bingo Card on OR pick one up at our information booth on the corner of Main St. and University.

These are the prices for the Bingo game: 

X BINGO = Go to our Info Booth to collect your Dickens Fest Sticker

Blackout BINGO = A special knighting ceremony at the Queen’s Pavilion with Queen Victoria at 3:30 pm & a commemorative Dickens Fest 2023 Pin!

Stevenson’s Swashbuckling School

For $10 you can join author Robert Louis Stevenson of “Treasure Island” as he teaches your child to walk, talk, and think like a pirate. Each child will get an inflatable sword, pirate hate, eye patch, and spyglass to take home. At the end, children are welcome to get into a (inflatable) sword fight. 

Mr. Stevenson will be in the children’s area of Oliver Alley at 3:15 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. 

This activity is best suited for kids 5 to 14 years of age. Limited spots are available. Find your tickets here.

Peter Rabbit Children’s Tea Party

Join Peter Rabbit and his friends on a “Choose your own Adventure” Tea Party. 

Includes: Tea (juice), cookies, souvenir bunny ears, and an interactive show with Beatrix Potter reading some of her favorite Peter Rabbit books, teaching the bunny hop and much more.

Photo Ops Available! The tea party will be from 12 to 12:30 pm. Get your tickets here.

Queen’s Children’s Tea

Join Queen Victoria as she teaches children about life in the royal palace, what it takes to be a Queen, and crazy Victorian rules of etiquette.

Includes: Tea (juice), cookies, souvenir crowns & tiaras, and an interactive show with her majesty Queen Victoria and her royal court. 

Photo Ops Available! Time: 1:15 pm to 2:00 pm. Get your tickets here.

The Villain’s Children’s Tea

There are many heroes at the Dickens Festival, but there are also villains. Have tea with Fagin, the villain of the book Oliver Twist. This comedy show is for all ages. Show starts at 2:45 pm.

Includes: Tea (juice), cookies, bag of Victorian marble game, terrible advice, comedic bad manners, and an interactive show with Oliver’s favorite villain (Fagin) trying to find new recruits to join him and the Artful Dodger. 

Photo Ops Available! Get your tickets here.

Evensong – Presented by the Raincross Master Chorale 

The historical First Congregational Church will offer an Evensong service just before the sun sets on Sunday, February 26th. It will be preformed by the Raincross Master Chorale who raise money to provide college scholarships to young singers in Riverside. This service of music and readings will follow the tradition of the English Prayer Book of 1549. 

Located at 3504 Mission Inn Ave at 4:00 pm. 

Admission is $10 for the concert. Tickets are available at the door.

Dickens After Dark Festival Fundraiser

For the mischievous spirits, Dickens After Dark offers a window into the Dickens Victorian Underworld with music, dancers, burlesque, and bawdy jokes. Open from 6-9 pm, this fundraiser costs $40 and includes one drink ticket.

Located: The Charles Dickens Tavern outside City Hall on the Dickens Fest thoroughfare (Main street next to City Hall). Get your tickets here.

When and Where will the Dickens Festival be? 

The Dickens Festival will be on Main Street between Mission Inn Avenue and 11th Street, in front of City Hall, in the Historic Downtown Riverside, CA. Parking spaces are available throughout Orange Street.  

It runs from February 25th to February 26th, 2023

Final Words 

The Inland Empire is a great place to live because there’s always something going on. Whether it’s concerts, shows, or living history events such as the Dickens Festival, there is always a new adventure just around the corner. 

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