The annual Riverside Dickens Festival, like a time machine, will deliver spectators to Victorian England for the era’s equivalent of a dinner and a show — a classic outing in any historic era. The festival runs from Saturday, January 7 to Sunday, January 8, 2012.
First Congregational Church, located at 3755 Lemon Street — across from the decked out Mission Inn — becomes The Royal Victorian Tea Room & Music Hall. Dine with Her Majesty Queen Victoria, or choose to share your tea with the ghost of Jacob Marley for “A Dickens of a Haunt.” Either way, the cost is $19.95 per person for homemade hot and cold sandwiches, scones, fruit, and of course, a hot pot of tea. Advance reservations are required.
After tea on Saturday, starting with British precision at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary, the Riverside Raincross Chorale offers Evensong. This is a service celebrating the setting sun, the themes of light and peace, and thankful hymns to God at end of another day. The English Evensong has origins in monastic Vespers, because the monks put aside their tools and came together for a moment of reflection and celebration. Cost for the Evensong is $10 and tickets are available at the door.