Worcester, MA — Several area businesses and organizations have planned a series of events that will take place this September in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens birth and his surprising Worcester connections. Charles Dickens, one of the world’s most beloved authors, visited Worcester twice; the first time in 1842 on his journey through America and again in 1868 on his last performance tour. At that time he did a reading of “A Christmas Carol” at Mechanics Hall.

Starting on Thursday, August 30th at 6:30pm Park Ranger Valerie Paul from the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor will lead a “Walkabout” of Worcester’s “tale of two cities”—Worcester when Dickens visited and Worcester as it is today. It will also include a private tour of Mechanics Hall.

The festivities continue on Thursday, September 20th at the Robert Fellman Dickens Collection located at the Gordon Library at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with an Open House for the Exhibit, “The Engaging and Enduring Mr. Dickens”, from 4:30pm to 6:30 featuring a talk at 5:30pm by Kristin Boudreau titled “‘A Pretty New England Town’: Dickens in Worcester in the Infancy of Industrialization”. The Fellman Dickens Collection is a Worcester treasure with a rich repository of Dickens materials.

On September 21 at 8:00pm, Gerald Dickens, the great- great Grandson of Charles Dickens, will take the stage of Mechanics Hall to perform his celebrated “One-Man” show of A Christmas Carol, using the original performance notes. The historic Mechanics Hall is one of the two remaining venues in America from Charles Dickens’ 1868 tour.

In addition, on Saturday, September 22, Gerald Dickens will give two performances at Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton. The 2pm show will be excerpts from Oliver Twist and the 7pm will feature selections from Nicholas Nickleby.

The weekend concludes on Sunday September 23rd with a Trolley Tour lead by William Wallace, the Executive Director of the Worcester Historical Museum and a Dickens themed dinner at The People’s Kitchen restaurant at 120 Commercial Street. More information on these two events will be available soon.

As these organizations come together to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, we invite you to join in celebrating Worcester’s historical connection and we invite you to be part of history.

Full Weekend Schedule Available at: