Before I started this podcast I wasn't getting out much. Now that it's up and running (today is number 25) I'm still not getting out as much as I would prefer...but the upside is that I am spending time with the people who work so hard on the local events and projects I've been missing.
The Riverside Dickens Festival has been an annual Downtown event since 1992. That means I've had plenty of opportunities to take it all in. Good thing they weren't waiting on me. No worries, they've continued to grow the event each year...and I recently noticed (while assembling events for our Facebook page) that they've expanded the Festival offerings beyond the annual weekend celebration. I made an interview request through the Festival's Twitter Feed and had a quick reply from their spokesperson Barbara Lara.
We met on a recent Monday morning at Lift Coffee (we were those not-so-hipsters at the outside tables) and discovered right away we both had some common threads running through our So Cal journeys. Barbara spent a lot of time around the L.A. music scene in the early '80s and eventually found her way into music video production. Our reminisces led to the story of how she ended up in Riverside and how she came to be involved with the Festival.
Here's the cool stuff: later this month the Festival will present several events featuring Gerald Dickens (who is the great-great grandson of Charles). If you're a Dickens fan I'm not sure if it could get any better than a local visit from a direct descendant of your favorite author. Gerald will appear at three different events through the weekend of November 14th and 15th, 2014 (follow the link below for complete information and ticket details).
Of course, there is also the main event - The 2015 Riverside Dickens Festival - that will happen February 21st and 22nd, 2015. What began as an educational event to raise funds for Friends of The Riverside Library has become on of Riverside's signature weekends. And YES, I'm going to make my best effort to get down there and see what it's all about. You see, Barbara set me straight on just how much people loved a PARTY in Dickens' day. I'm ready to get in on that action.
- Ralph from Riverside