We ventured out to Cow Palace with 6-year-old Julian in tow, where we proceeded to do a full circle around the entire building before finding the fair. A motorcycle swap was going on adjacent to the Victorian Christmas extravaganza, which was a pretty hilarious juxtoposition. But since it is San Francisco, it's possible the attendees to each event overlapped somewhat.

Upon entry to the Dickens Fair, we discovered that it was twilight in Victorian London, and it was very much Christmas! And we were warmly welcomed by every costumed person we encountered. There was quite a mix of people attending the festival, including those in plain clothes like us, regular attendees in Victorian dress, and volunteers, vendors and performers in full, pre-approved Victorian costume and personae varying from peasants to royalty, who did a great job at playing their parts. We saw the king and queen and their court walk through the square, and there was a particularly attention-getting group of shoppers fumbling with loads of wrapped parcels for an exaggerated amount of time. (We had circled the venue a few times, and they were still fumbling.) We found especially funny the Academie of Music performers who had been quarantined, but continued to play their instruments from behind a closed gate.

SFist Leanne, contributing