A Victorian Country Christmas Festival, now in its 31st year, seeks to transport visitors back to the time depicted in prints by Currier and Ives: of teddy bears and horse-drawn sleds; of velvet coats, ear muffs, mittens and rosy cheeks. It all takes place Nov. 28 through Dec. 2 at the Washington State Fair and Events Center. It boasts features that are meant to appeal to young and old alike.
A Victorian Country Christmas started as an idea many years ago. Lynda Pressey had just experienced the loss of her sister due to cancer. Her heart was touched by a Christmas event that she witnessed at Disneyland and wondered if it would be possible to create a special Christmas event in Washington someday. About 25 years ago, she and her husband, Rod Pressey, invested his retirement funds in this dream. Working out of their garage, then out of an office park/warehouse, along with a designer they created the vision of this unique event.
Rather than putting on a gift show with booths, they wanted a Christmas festival that would infuse people with the spirit and feeling of Christmas. Storefronts were created and sets were designed to give the Washington State Fair Events Center the look and feel of a Victorian village in the late 1800’s. Three buildings were decorated top to bottom to give the feeling that you were walking down an old fashioned street passing beautiful shops filled with hand-crafted and one of a kind gift items. Artists from throughout the United States and Canada signed up to be in the show. This event has been going strong since 1988 and has become a tradition for families and friends from all different walks of life.
This is not a show therefore; it is an experience. From the minute you enter this show you will be transported. With all the challenges that we face in our daily lives, it is the hope of the organizers that you will be a delighted and refreshed. The Washington State Fair Events Center was originally chosen as the site for the festival because of the family values and community spirit that they represent. It is hoped that visitors will have an experienced Christmas and feel strongly that the season of giving has begun and that patrons leave having been infused with kindness. This is a family event filled with shopping and entertainment, but above all it is an acknowledgement of the beginning of the Christmas season.
A Victorian Country Christmas features the best professional entertainment in the area. There are many stage shows daily fearing professional entertainment perfect for families. The Silver Spurs Country Western Revue, for example, features the best singers, dancers, acrobats and comedians in a rousing revue that will have you singing, laughing and tapping your feet. Stardust Follies is back with a brand new show. This Broadway style extravaganza features professional entertainers that are all over 50 years of age. Music, dance, comedy and incredible costumes make for a fantastic show.
Many other artists will take the stage at this event as well as wonderful strolling performers. One of the unique features of A Victorian Country Christmas is the Singing Nativity. For those that truly want a dynamic and powerful experience, this is a must see. Featuring more than 125 singers and dancers, this presentation features the most beautiful Christmas carols and Christmas music.
At the festival, each patron will receive an old fashioned newspaper that will serve as their guide to A Victorian Country Christmas. Check out the opportunity to win incredible door prizes. See show times for entertainment and learn about strolling musicians such as the Evergreen Brass, Love Notes and The Christmas Belles. You can also see and locate any one of our Christmas stores by name or one of our food vendors by looking at our easy to read maps in the center section of our newspaper.
Don’t forget a carriage or train ride between buildings and a package check-in is available to make your experience easy and fun. Security is top notch at our event. The U.S. Marines will make sure that you feel safe as you enjoy this wonderful show. The festival boasts the most beautiful Santa setting for breathtaking keepsake photos. Their lovely Santa and Mrs. Claus take time with your children and listen to the wishes of adults too.
At A Victorian Country Christmas, there is a great variety of family home style cooking, kid friendly items, heart healthy selections and wonderful specialty and ethnic foods. There is plenty of seating available so everyone can enjoy a great meal at the festival.
Wonderful vendors sell specialty food items that are perfect for gifts or a special treat. If you are looking for a sweet treat for a gift or snack, well then you cannot beat Seattle Fudge. They have been a fixture in the Northwest for many years selling the finest tasting homemade fudge and confections. There are other fabulous treats such as Bavarian roasted nuts, Kettle Corn, Homemade Killian Carmel Corn, chocolates and more.
At Santa’s Village in the Expo Hall, “Christmas Wishes in the Mailbox” is a feature that allows children to write down their Christmas wishes and place them in a magical mailbox to Santa. There will also be ample opportunities for photos with Santa. At Santa’s jump zone, kids can jump for joy to Christmas carols. “Bamboozled,” meanwhile, features world class balloon twisting. You can also take a “Selfie with an Elfie.”
For tickets and details, visit www.avictoriancountrychristmas.com.