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Spacer Galveston Chamber of Commerce Welcome Valencia Huff Performs Bay Area Houston Dickens on the Strand 2011
Holiday Happenings
Moody National Bank Dannenbaum Engineering
Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau
News Release
Monday, October 10, 2011

Galveston’s Holiday Charm Brings Victorian Merriment to the Texas Coast 
Award-Winning ‘Dickens on the Strand’ Festival Returns for 38th Year
Plus Largest Holiday Lighting Event on Gulf Coast

GALVESTON, Texas – Spending time on the beach is only part of what makes Galveston Island a charming destination for the holidays. With one of the largest collections of well-preserved Victorian architecture in the country, Galveston’s historic buildings and elaborate festivals offer the enchantment of traditional holiday merriment mixed with the benefits of island weather.

While you may not find Galveston’s palm trees in England, the island’s historic downtown makes the perfect backdrop for the award-winning “Dickens on the Strand” festival, where bobbies, Beefeaters and the Queen herself help recreate the Victorian London of Charles Dickens. Each year, characters from Dickens novels parade the streets of Galveston during the first weekend of December while food and entertainment fill the area with sights and smells from another era.

This year Dickens on the Strand – to be held Dec. 3-4 – will celebrate its 38th event with a variety of festivities, including the return of its popular “Steampunk” group of performers who will host an edgy bazaar, circus and street ball.

The festival, organized by the Galveston Historical Foundation, has been named one of the top 100 events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association for its 2012 Top 100 Events contest. The festival has also been named one of the top 10 events in the state by Texas Highways magazine.

Adding to the holiday fun will be the 10th annual Festival of Lights at Moody Gardens – the largest holiday lighting festival on the Gulf Coast. Don’t let November’s 70-degree weather fool you as Festival of Lights transforms the 240 -acre Moody Gardens property into a winter wonderland. The festival, to be held Nov. 12 – Jan. 1, features a mile long trail of more than 100 lighted holiday scenes, nightly live music, visits from Santa Claus, holiday shows and even a “Snow Zone” for kids.

Speaking of Santa Claus, he will also make an appearance at the City of Galveston Holiday Lighting Celebration at the historic Hotel Galvez on Nov. 25. The celebration is free to public and kicks off with the lighting of the hotel’s 35-foot Christmas tree. The event will also feature entertainment from Galveston Ballet, Houston Children’s Choir, bagpipers and more.  Inside the hotel, Executive Chef Antonio Rodriguez and his staff invite guests to see the hotel’s elaborate holiday gingerbread display.

Holiday hotel and beach house packages are available throughout the island. For more information on Galveston’s holiday charm, visit

About Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a historic beach town located on the Gulf of Mexico just 50 miles from Houston. The island is best known as a vacation destination, offering 32 miles of beaches, a variety of family attractions, Texas’ premier cruise port and one of the largest and well-preserved concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country, including several National Historic Landmarks. Galveston Island is home to popular amusements such as, Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, as well as a variety of museums and recreational activities from surfing to birding. For more information on Galveston Island visit or call 1-888-GAL-ISLE.

Media Contact: Leah Cast, public relations manager for the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, at 409-707-5152 or


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