A South Jersey town has been transformed into a Charles Dickens winter wonderland on the final weekend before Christmas

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On this final weekend before Christmas, one South Jersey town is celebrating the holiday season in a festive, brightly lit, and old-fashioned way.

Doreen Talley, the executive director of the Greater Cape May Chamber of Commerce, said her community looks like something out of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” with garlands of fragrant greens and twinkling gaslights wherever you look.

“With our Victorian homes, a lot of them are decorated,” she said. “We have a contest each year called Light Up Cape May, so there’s prizes awarded, and some bragging rights.”

She said all of the city parks are specially decorated, and on Saturday visitors can enjoy the All that Glitters Trolley tour, which includes then and now stories of the many shops, hotels, landmarks, and personalities that dotted the Cape Island social landscape during the Victorian age. Visitors can also board a musical Santa Trolley ride, led by none other than Mrs. Claus, who has come to Cape May directly from the North Pole.

Talley noted some establishments are running Christmas movies and offering hot chocolate this weekend, On Christmas Eve the Carriage House Visitors Center and the Lighthouse are open, the Carroll Gallery has an old-fashioned Christmas exhibit, and caroling groups are performing at different houses of worship.

“The shops are open, the Winter Wonderland on the grounds of Congress Hall is open, there’s train and carousel rides happening, and they have a little vendor village with crafts,” she said.

  • December 23, 2023
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