(Photo: Shelley Mays/The Tennessean)

By: Angela Folds

The holidays are in full swing in Williamson County. Opportunities abound for newcomers and natives alike to savor the season with area events.

In its 33rd year, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County’s Dickens of a Christmas festival will once again transform the historic downtown district into an old-fashioned Victorian village as 200 characters, dancers, strolling carolers and entertainers fill the streets in their period costumes.

John Fraser will make his 19th appearance at the festival portraying the nefarious character “Fagin” from Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” He will be accompanied by fellow Pull-Tight Players cast mates John Kitson and Mark Price portraying “A Christmas Carol” characters Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge, respectively.

Fraser first embraced the Dickens spirit after portraying Fagin in the Pull-Tight Theatre’s 1988 presentation of “Oliver Twist.”

“I realized that I, too, was a Dickens character and perhaps Dickens of a Christmas could use me. So, I showed up,” Fraser said. “In those days the festival comprised two blocks of Main Street, from Five Points to the square. Attendance was sparse. There were artisans working in store windows. Scrooge ran around in a bathrobe calling ‘Bah Humbug.’ And so it began.”