One More Weekend For Holly Dickens Festival Fun

daytrip_to_holly_top-generalDale Vigliarolo in progress TOPOne More Weekend For daytrip_andys-placeHolly Dickens Festival Fun

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 7, 2016)

Holly, MI – Do you know of Ebenezer Scrooge?   The beloved author Charles Dickens wrote of his infamous character that “External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often “came down” handsomely, and Scrooge never did.

Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, “My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?” No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blind daytrip_jacq-n-dianemen’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, “No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!”

But what did Scrooge care! It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance…”

The exaggerated disdain of Dickens most famous character is the opposite of how the people of Holly treat their guests in the three weekends that make up the Holly Dickens Festival.  For 43 years the community has hosted the event, which is the longest running in the nation.  Occupying the weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the event brings the community together while inspiring visitors from near and far into the holiday spirit.

There is Scrooge. And he is played by the Holly Township Supervisor George Kullis.  He roams Saginaw and Broad Streets, snarling insults at the random neighbors and strangers he meets.  But even this daytrip_books_past_tensecharacterization is fun and friendly.

Visitors can take part in interactive performances of A Christmas Carol on the patio of Red Devil Restaurant.  The Saginaw Street stage hosts dancers and musicians through the weekend.  Santa has a nice warm tent for good little girls and boys to have their pictures taken.  And even though the weather has been unseasonably warm, there is a place at Crapo Park where snow has been artificially made into the landing of a sledding hill. Kids can enjoy activities at Tiny Tim’s children’s tent and games like chicken-in-a-pot, street sweeping contests, and crafts.  The Charles Dickens tea at the Holly Hotel is also a favorite for taking peoples’ imaginations back in time, along with Youth Theater performances of Oliver Twist at Inspirations Arts and Crafts Workshop.

Perhaps the most enchanting is the opportunity to ride through the Village in a horse-drawn carriage, enjoying the historic downtown the same daytrip_vintage-farm-house_lampway folks did in the 1800s when much of the neighborhood was built.  Along the tour are fantastic places to visit for shopping and to keep one’s belly full.  Jacq and Diane’s Juice Box serves fresh fruit smoothies, while Andy’s Place serves up the traditional tastes of pub food and beer.  The streets are lines with unique shops, many with gifts and antiques, including The Vintage Farm Store and Shops at 101. Holly’s famous Battle Alley, where railroad workers full of restless energy and whiskey would go to settle their differences, is lined with vendor booths.  And if one wants to buy a Charles Dicken’s book, they can check at Past Tense Books, though the classics tend to go quickly.

For some little-known facts about Charles Dickens, check out

For a story on the Village tree lighting and community awards, see

The 2016 Dickens Festival’s final days are Dec. 10 and 11.  Find out more at


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