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Mountain Home Magazine

A Dickens of a Costume Contest

Main Street in charming, small-town Wellsboro will appear instantly transformed into a street in nineteenth century London on Saturday, December 2, as thousands of visitors and vendors dress up like characters in a Charles Dickens novel for the town’s thirty-fourth Dickens of a Christmas celebration. But taking center stage amid the strollers and singers and players and the wafting scent of sweets and grilled meats will be the popular new Best Dressed Dickens Contest, back for a second year after the inaugural contest drew more than forty-five contestants in Victorian-era styles, and offering prizes valued at a thousand dollars. (See the full schedule on pages 24-25.)

The contest, sponsored by the Wellsboro Home Page (, is free and open to all, with no elaborate pre-registration required, and will be judged at 1 p.m. on the outdoor lawn and stage of the Deane Center at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue. (Simply stop by the Deane Center lobby on Saturday, December 2, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. to give your name and contact information, or email [email protected] beforehand.)

John Vogt, Home Page’s president, will emcee, with Christine A. Moore, the renowned New York City hat designer who has a home in Tioga County, joining him on stage (one of Christine’s custom-made hats worth more than $1,000, from Christine A. Moore Millinery of New York City, is the first place prize). The judges are Mansfield University English professor emeritus Larry Biddison, an icon of the celebration in his top hat and tails; Sara Vogt, Home Page vice president and contest organizer; Cynthia Compton, a social worker at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Wellsboro and a fashion designer, and Teresa Banik Capuzzo, the publisher of Mountain Home. The contest will move inside the Deane Center in inclement weather.

The winner and other contestants will join the famous Victorian Stroll down Main Street at 2 p.m. In addition to the custom hat by Christine Moore, “the winning lad or lass will receive a winsome gift basket of goods donated by Wellsboro merchants,” says Sara, and “other fun surprises will be given out as well.” Last year’s winner, sixteen-year-old Sky DeBockler (above), will also be on hand. 

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