The town of Garrison, ND, has hosted the festival for the past 20 years by transforming Main street into a Victorian-themed village in late November and December. With a population of just 1500, Garrison residents dress in top hats, full-length skirts, and hand warmers while tourists enjoy parades, street vendors, and the annual performance of the play, A Christmas Carol.
In the upcoming episode of Daily Dakotan, Garrison fire chief Mike Maddison describes how the festival began, and why residents continue to participate every year.
“It’s given my children the opportunity to learn that Christmas is not something that comes wrapped in a box,” says Maddison. “But something that comes from your heart and being involved with others.”
Matt Fern, Daily Dakotan producer, says that spirit is what drew him to feature Maddison and the entire town of Garrison in this episode.
“We only post 15 or so episodes of Daily Dakotan a year, so I can’t include everyone I want,” says Fern. “But I had to feature the Dickens Festival this week because it perfectly conveys the unique warmth of North Dakota at Christmas.”
The Daily Dakotan, now in its second season, profiles interesting and inspiring people from throughout North Dakota in three- to five-minute vignettes, with a new video posted each day.
A Facebook page and Twitter feed are available for anybody who wants to be notified when new episodes become available at facebook/dailydakotan and @dailydakotan.
Learn more about the Dickens Village Festival at dickensfestival.com.