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Carlyle transforms into Victorian-era village for beloved festival

The 20th annual Dickens Village Festival in Carlyle had plenty to offer once again this year.

CARLYLE - Another Carlyle Dickens Village Festival is in the books.

The 20th annual festival took place in Carlyle on Dec. 1-3.

For weeks, the town has been busy preparing for this festive event, which runs throughout the weekend, with plenty of activities.

Main Street has been decorated with lights and Christmas ornaments, and all the businesses make their storefront windows festive for the occasion.

To officially open this big weekend on Nov. 30, the town’s Christmas tree was lit by Mayor Jen Sedor and Christmas carols were sung.

Homes and businesses were lit up for the friendly competition of the best-decorated place.

High tea was served at the Carlyle United Church and the Memorial Hall became a place for fun and music when nine entertainers preformed throughout the afternoon.

A lighted parade was held Dec. 1 and 2. Before the parade began, judging took place with the winners receiving gift certificates from The Office Bar and Grill, Michael's Coffee Shop and Bakery, and Kuzina Resto and Grill.

The Carlyle District Lions Club did the judging and the 30 high quality floats made it difficult for them to pick winners.

First place went to Dunn Transport and Carlyle Home Hardware, with second place for Littlehawk CEDA and Sherry Zaharius, and third went to Carlyle One Church and Dar’s Impressions.

The parade went down Main Street, after passing the Moose Mountain Lodge, so the seniors could also enjoy the beauty of the lights.

There was no need to go hungry, as food vendors were available from 4-7 p.m., offering chili, baked potatoes, perogies, smokies, Filipino foods, and corn and clam chowder soup. Hot chocolate and coffee were also available at some of the local businesses that remained open late.

More activities were added to the list for Dec. 2. A total of 140 people were served during a pancake and sausage breakfast at the Memorial Hall, with the sausage, pancake mix and syrup donated by Gordon Food Services.

Santa visited during the breakfast and returned in the afternoon to hand out candy to 113 kids.

A total of $1,048.60 was collected through the breakfast and Santa's gift donations, and two large boxes of food were collected for the Carlyle District Food Bank.

From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. the English market took place at the Carlyle Elementary School and That Place on Railway Ave.

Forty tables were set up with a wide range of crafts, baking and tradespeople. A steady line of people attended right until 4 p.m., and the vendors were happy with the turnout and the pleasant weather.

Horse-drawn carriage rides were enjoyed by many throughout the day, while others looked forward to dressing in their English attire to go to high tea.

The streets were lined once again for the parade of lights as children eagerly waited to collect candy and see Santa.

Each evening and in the afternoon of Dec. 3, the Cornerstone Theatre performed the play A Christmas Carol, Slightly Twisted.

Seats were nearly sold out at each time slot, with around 200 people attending, and when the lights went dim, Doug Waldner welcomed the crowd and thanked everyone for attending.

The play brought lots of laughter as Ebenezer Scrooge learned about the values of being kind throughout life, and that money was not the root of happiness. With 26 actors and actresses, the play was well organized, and the props were nicely made.