Literary juggernaut Charles Dickens did one of his last readings in Worcester, Mass. at Mechanic’s Hall in 1868. And, Vaillancourt Folk Art has been flying Charles Dicken’s great-great grandson, Gerald, to their theatre in Sutton, Mass. to perform A Christmas Carol every Thanksgiving weekend since 2009.
Seeing the play will certainly put you in the holiday spirit but now Vaillancourt Folk Art and Niche Hospitality Group are joining forces to bring a little more Dickens to Central Massachusetts. Experience Act 1, Scene 5 at the First Annual Fezziwig’s Ball located at The Citizen Wine Bar on Friday, December 4 at 6 p.m.
The Citizen’s covered patio will be transformed into a Dickensian themed dinner party featuring a traditional English feast including a carving station and 19th century inspired cocktails as well as music from the era. Decked out in authentic threads, Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig will be there to show everyone how to party like it’s 1822.
Niche Hospitality’s Mike Covino hopes the event will be a party for all ages. “When I think about Fezziwig’s Christmas Eve party in the book, I think about merriment, joy and fun. I hope our version of Fezziwig’s Ball brings people together from all walks of life to celebrate and to be grateful for our family, friends, and community.”
To give you the Cliffs Notes, the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge a time when he worked as an apprentice for Mr. Fezziwig. Fezziwig cared more about spreading joy to people than profits, which is why he hosted a jubilant Christmas Eve party with his wife.
“Fezziwig’s party epitomizes the celebratory nature of the holiday season and what better way to bring it to life than by partnering with the masters of hospitality: Niche Hospitality Group,” says Luke M. Vaillancourt, Director of Digital Marketing for Vaillancourt Folk Art, which is considered one of the last “Made in America” Christmas studios.
Some guests are opting to dress in traditional Victorian-era garb as Covino will offer prizes for tye best dressed. (For a little Industrial Revolution attire inspiration, women’s dresses began to change at that time. Waistlines dropped to the smallest part of the waist and skirts were wide with tucks, pleats, ruffles or loops. Men’s fashion emphasized broad shoulders with puffed sleeves and narrow waistcoats.)
No matter what outfit you pick, the mission of the party is meant to unite guests. Vaillancourt Folk Art and Niche Hospitality Group hopes to turn strangers into old friends by the end of the night with the help of some warm-hearted Christmas cheer—that maybe we’ll hold onto all year.
Like Dickens wrote, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” And, there’s no better place to find merriment and the Christmas spirit than at a ball dedicated to the same sentiment. Tickets are $75 (inclusive of gratuity) and are available online or by calling (508) 459-9090. A cash bar will be available also.