A Dickens Christmas Celebration in Skaneateles


It seems that this celebration in Upstate New York is known by just about everyone to whom  I mentioned it.  As you might remember , my son and his family are living there now.  This quaint village  is located on one  of the Finger Lakes in central New York.


As you can see, the lakes are named appropriately.  This area is a big tourist draw most of the year with many vineyards, apple picking,  and wineries. Yes, this is the area from which wine is produced if you have bought New York wine. I have not visited Napa Valley in northern California but the pictures I have seem show large vineyards and grand wineries. The ones in New York are smaller and usually family owned and run.

Oh I digressed. . .  . but really I am setting the scene.  There are many tourists in the summer, but the winter is another story.  Who chooses to visit the “snow belt” where it snows or rains every day from October to April because of the “lake affect?” ( This statistic was told by the guide when  my  daughter and I toured Syracuse University. She attended and the weather was not one of her favorite things though she loved  her college experience. From the map you can see that Syracuse is about 30 minutes from Skaneateles.

OK, this dreamy little town of quaint shops, the lake,  and the gazebo came up with an idea bout 20 years ago. They turned Skaneateles into  Charles Dickens characters from A Christmas Carol and encouraged shopping from well stocked  shops and stepping  back into history, all at the same time!  Actually some of the restored buildings date back to 1796 which is pre-Victorian so it looked the part.

Our  experience started by witnessing the World’s Smallest Christmas Parade which lasted exactly 10 minutes. Blink and you would miss it, but standing in temperatures in the teens, made it a great idea to be short and sweet.   English Bobbies(policemen) shouted  the opening of the celebration  with  the modern police escorting the Victorian characters from A Christmas Carol .   Prominent  was John Tyler, the President of the day, Queen Victoria, Scrooge and Father Christmas bringing up the end with  shouts of “Happy Christmas!”  Interactions with the visitors  are encouraged by these characters as they stroll up and down the streets.  There are revels at the town gazebo on the edge of the lake, scenes performed by the Dickens characters, an award of a silver teasel for the most spirited performance, horse drawn wagons ,carriage rides, and even roasted chestnuts with  hot cocoa.








This little Upstate village of 2,450 residents has discovered how to accommodate a total of  20,000 visitors spread over  every weekend from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Good cheer, laughter, and fun in the midst of winter in the snow belt! And don’t forget the shopping!


Here are my “lovelies”. Don’t they look happy at just one more picture?

Live, Laugh, and Love in Skaneateles!

Images from Google Images. .  . .Public Domain

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Dickens Christmas Celebration in Skaneateles

  1. markbialczak says:

    Old-fashioned fun in Skaneateles, Annet, and you captured the spirit.


  2. rabirius says:

    I love the costumes.


    • annetbell says:

      I do , too. Next weekend in my city, Troy, New York, there will be a Victorian Stroll with lots of great costumes. But they do it only one weekend. The pictures, I showed are actors who audition for these characters so their appeal will be as authentic as possible. Thanks for the comment!


  3. I love dress up and Christmas. Great post.


  4. What a great idea to liven up the wintertime in a smallish town! Love the World’s Smallest Christmas Parade–best kind of parade to have in cold weather, to be sure. Thanks for sharing this slightly obscure fun that deserves better fame. 🙂


  5. suzjones says:

    Wow! Looks like an awesome place to visit at this time of year. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.