Put the first weekend in December on your next calendar. We just returned from Galveston’s annual “Dickens on the Strand Festival.” I was there 20 years ago. It seemed 20 times better this year.
Attended by thousands, several hundred people dress in costumes from the 1800s — from royalty to upper class, old-fashioned bicycle riding costumes, pirates, beggars and women of the street — and all are proud to pose for picture taking.
Students from several high schools sang Christmas carols in the streets and were dressed in period costume. Bands played Christmas carols softly on brass horns. Two small youngsters played violins while a third held their sheet music.
We visited with the festival queen and her attendants at a famous hotel. Then came the parade. With artificial snow blowing from rooftops, all the costumes, carriages, carolers and period military uniforms stood out. As the queen’s carriage passed by, she sent one of her guards to our curb to present a rose to my wife.
Many museums are on the island and famous houses to tour — the Bishop’s Palace and Moody Mansion, to name a couple — and many more interesting ones to drive by. There are famous old hotels to see, such as the Hotel Galvez and the Tremont House.
We took a break and drove back toward Houston to the greyhound dog racing track. Built many years ago for thousands of people, there were only about 50 people there. Needless to say, I didn’t have to report any winnings to the IRS.
We came back to the island to walk the beaches a third time.
Jim Stodola, Denton