Dickens Festival – A letter from the Mayor

I received this official letter from Mayor Garant and think it helps explain why Port Jefferson is a better place to live and work now that the mayor has brought together a team that can work together and bring people to the village!ickes fes

“I think it is only  fitting that before the festivities of the 15th Annual Dickens Festival  kickoff on Friday Dec 3rd that I pay special tribute to the members of the committee that have made this year so incredibly special.  

   We finished our last committee meeting flawlessly on Thursday afternoon at 3:50 in less than an hour. Opening festivities for Dickens will go off without a hitch this year with three lantern dedications Friday at 4:30 beginning with a lantern at the corner by the Frigate, then to East Main by Fitness Together and then to The Pie to dedicate a lantern to Paul Reilly, late son of our own Justice John Reilly. Opening ceremonies then progress thanks to the miracle that she is Amy Tuttle, Director of the Festival and member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, the promoter and major sponsor of the Festival.

       Our Village would not be the perfect Holiday backdrop for this Festival without the major support of Port Jefferson Parks and Recreation Departments lead by Ron Carlson and Dave Melious who are responsible for decorating the Village from upper to lower Port with the assistance of the unstoppable Pat Darling and Town of Brookhaven. Heartfelt thanks to Denise Boyd and the co-chairs of the Crystal Ball committee Lynne Marchiano and Grace Fitterer and all of the volunteers at the Village Center who have ensured that this year’s Crystal Ball on Friday night will be a huge success in honor of former Mayor Jeanne Garant, Founder of the Dickens Festival. 

   We bring back the tradition of the Victorian House Tour thanks to the muster and pure hard work of the Chamber of Commerce representatives Barbara Ransome, Joanne Cornell, Jolie Powell, Joanne Coco and Marianne Douglas who chaired the house tour committee in conjunction with the Arts Council. We continue to celebrate Dickens because of the persistent leadership of Allan Varela, Executive Director of the Arts Council who kept Dickens alive and the numerous other volunteers who make this event happen. Of particular thanks we are grateful to the new congregation of the Baptist Church and Pastor Pete for continuing to host our volunteer command center in the midst of a major transition and reconstruction project – we welcome you to your new home here in Port Jefferson.  

   Genuine thanks to Nan Guzetta for her never ending generosity with costuming, Karen Overton for organizing a new all time high number of over 70 volunteer street character actors, Tim Sakovich for heading up and organizing the closing parade and our own constabulary for being ever present in the three day long logistics of street closings, safety concerns and overall planning.  

     It is therefore one of my greatest honors as your Mayor to welcome you on behalf of the aforementioned and the many generous sponsors and 100 plus volunteers to Port Jefferson’s 15th Annual Charles Dickens Festival. CHEERS!

Please visit pjdickens.com for schedule of all events info – tickets for the Crystal Ball and house tour are for sale – though limited quantity available.”

 Margot Garant