Literary Lark: Riverside Dickens Festival

Bustles, top hats, and other sartorial touches'll reign at the annual lit-and-more merriment.

MANY EVENTS... are a touch blasé on the matter of attendees wearing the sort of outfits appropriate to the occasion. Which is just fine, of course; people should be comfortable and do their thing. But when you're dealing with a venerable affair that has some truly terrific costumes, the kind of sartorial wonders that clearly had a lot of thought and care behind their creation, well, you can wish you had stepped up your gussy-up game, just a tad. Such is the charming case of the Riverside Dickens Festival, a wintertime revelry that finds people decked out in all sorts of Victorian-inspired wear. You can, of course, attend one of the events in your modern trousers and contemporary shirts, but you may wish you had packed a top hat or a hoop skirt or the kind of mustache pomade that gentlemen used to fancy 150 years ago (or so). Either way, this annual literary lark, billed as "The Most Celebrated Event in the Inland Empire!," attracts a caboodle of book-loving, history-obsessed people who dig two days of parties, talks, and story-focused happenings. The 2017 dates are...

SATURDAY, FEB. 25 AND SUNDAY, FEB. 26, and the roster includes an Authors' Salon, Parasol Dueling (a fresh addition in 2016), period music, a steampunk element, a cameo by Charles Dickens himself, a Victorian fashion show, and several more book- or time-perfect doings. Speaking of books, the featured book for the 2017 festival is "American Notes for General Consideration," by Mr. Charles Dickens, natch, so best get a jump on reading it (or reading it again) if you want to attend and take a seat for the discussion. Top hat on? Love of tales a go? Then secure your tickets for this dress-up, read-up, history-up happening.

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