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Queens County Museum hosts Festival of Trees and Dickensville

A scene inside the Queens County Museum from the 2018 Festival of Trees. - Colin Machaffie
A scene inside the Queens County Museum from the 2018 Festival of Trees. - Colin Machaffie - Contributed

Christmas may still be over a month a way, but the season has come to life at the Queens County Museum in Liverpool with the annual Festival of Trees and Dickensville.

Museum director Linda Rafuse explains the Queens County Museum has been creating Christmas displays for many years now, since the early 1990s.

And, she adds, it has grown larger every year until today, the entire building pretty well transforms into a magical Christmas experience inside and out thanks to wonderful staff and volunteers who have a love for the spirit of the Christmas Season.

Three years ago, Rafuse explains, local businessman, George Mitchell, decided to bring his annual display of “Dickensville” to the Queens County Museum to join the Festival of Trees.

“We are so happy to have Dickensville as part of our festival,” she says. “It now has its permanent place and we are overjoyed to have this beautiful addition to our Christmas exhibit.”

The village consists of 100 separate little characters and 86 buildings of the Charles Dickens theme, showing London during the era of Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge and many other favourite delightful characters from Dickens novels, she explains.

“You can see buildings like the Globe Theatre, Bob Crachett’s cottage, Ebenezer Scrooge’s house, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, the Victoria Train Station and so many more,” Rafuse says. “George and his wife Margaret also lovingly provide hot mulled cider, throughout the month, to enjoy while strolling through the exhibit.”

The Festival of Trees features over 30 modern themed and vintage-style Christmas trees, ornaments and décor, Rafuse says, pointing out that it is an absolute magical experience.

“This time of year creates a feeling amongst people that comes from the spirit of Christmas. The giving, the kindness, the love, the gathering of family and friends. The love for Christmas and its lights and decorations, puts smiles on the faces of most, young and old,” Rafuse says.

“We, at the museum, love the spirit of Christmas and can never wait for this time of year to share it with others. It's the time of year that the child in our hearts appear.”

She encourages anyone having a bit of trouble getting into the spirit of Christmas to come on in to the Queens County Museum.

“We guarantee by the time you leave, you will be in the spirit,” she smiles. “Be a child again … stroll and enjoy.”

The official opening of the Christmas exhibit will be Saturday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. It will be in place for viewing, Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1-5 p.m.

On Saturday, Dec. 7 from 1-3 p.m., Santa will be making his annual visit to the Festival of Trees and Dickensville, where he will receive visits and wish lists from many children.

The last day for viewing will be Dec. 23, at which time the museum will close for the Christmas holiday and reopen Thursday, January 2, 2020.

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