By Maureen Riedy
There’s a new holiday attraction in Lake County this year that’s very different than anything else around the area. It’s Dickens Holiday Village in downtown Antioch. I checked it out recently and discovered that it’s pretty cool! You will find 14 displays, mostly along Main Street in downtown Antioch, with life size figures depicting scenes from Olde England during the Victorian Era. The displays are numbered but it’s not necessary to go in order, however, I would suggest parking and starting near the Dickens Hospitality Center on Lake Street where you will find a cute shop with tempting holiday items and you can pick up the walking tour brochure. For a little fun, you might also want to adorn a cape and bonnet and take your photo with Henry, one of the Dickens characters.
Be sure to dress for the weather and a short walk. You will find scenes like Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, Women Carolers, Marley’s Ghost, a Lamp Lighter, Apple Peddler, a Shoe Shine Boy and much more. I was impressed with the unique facial expressions of the characters and the attention to detail in their clothing and accessories.
Antioch has a charming downtown with some unique boutiques and restaurants so plan on extra time to do a little shopping and have lunch or dinner. There are plenty of options. We ate at the cozy Café Book – perfect for warming up with a quick soup and sandwich. David’s Bistro is another good choice for Italian selections. Bring your family or a group of girlfriends. The displays will be up through January 2nd. You can also visit Santa at his Enchanted Village by Village Hall.
All of the characters and scenes were constructed by a small group of community volunteers in partnership with the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. They spent months creating the artistic heads and wooden mannequin bodies and dressing the characters. They plan to add more displays next year. If you have a group of 25 or more, you may arrange a guided tour in advance by calling 847/395-2233. You will find more information and a schedule of other special holiday activities in Antioch at DickensHolidayVillage.com.