More than 90 scenes featuring 180 life-size figures in vintage attire are set up at each lamppost and bench along Wheeling Avenue in Cambridge, Ohio.
The unenlightened version of Ebenezer Scrooge would likely turn up his nose at the level of cooperation and dedication that goes into assembling the city of Cambridge’s Dickens Victorian Village each holiday season. The event, which began in 2006, is made possible thanks to a legion of volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours annually to bring a flavor of the Victorian-era England that author Charles Dickens depicted in his most famous work, “A Christmas Carol,” to downtown Cambridge.
In all, 92 scenes featuring 180 life-size figures in vintage attire are set up at each lamppost and bench along Wheeling Avenue between Sixth and 11th Streets. Scenes are also presented in street-level and second-story windows. The idea originated with local business owner Bob Ley and his wife, Sue, a teacher.
Inspired by the city’s historic architecture, Sue had the idea of creating a Victorian-era village during the holidays for residents and visitors alike. Bob made the first mannequin before recruiting the community volunteers needed to bring the event to life. It runs each year from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.
Since Dickens Victorian Village’s inaugural year, another new element to the holidays in Cambridge has been added: a nightly, hour-long light show on the exterior of the 1881 Guernsey County Courthouse. It is synchronized to holiday music and runs continuously from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly (most weekends it runs until 11 p.m.). Tea service events and trolley tours are part of the seasonal fun as well.
Be sure to visit The Welcome Center, home to The Curiosity Shoppe, which stocks handcrafted items, Victorian hats for men and women and Christmas tree ornaments. There is also a photo-op station that invites visitors to dress up in Victorian-era garb. Welcome Center: 647 Wheeling Ave., Cambridge, Ohio 43725, 740/421-4956, dickensvictorianvillage.com