Broadstairs Dickens Festival 14th-16th June 2024

This June, the 3-day Broadstairs Dickens Festival will be the 87th year of this wonderful tradition


CommunityAd had the pleasure of speaking to Director Janet Thomas to delve into the history and talk about the major highlights at this year’s event.


CommunityAd Exclusive - Broadstairs Dickens Festival 14th-16th June 2024

What is your role with the Dickens Festival and what do you enjoy most about the 3-day event?

I am one of the Directors of the Dickens Festival CIC that is responsible for organising the annual Dickens Festival in Broadstairs. What I enjoy most is seeing all the costumed characters around the town.


Can you explain how this festival brings the local community together and how you have been able to successfully keep this going post COVID?

The local community are involved in various ways; some take stalls at our Victorian Fayre; some come out in costume for the parade, beach party and other activities.

It has been difficult to keep the Festival going since COVID. It was cancelled in 2020, and because of restrictions, we were also unable to run the Festival in 2021 as well. 2022 was challenging as people were still reluctant to mix in crowds, but 2023 was more successful. However, we still lack volunteers, especially for manning the road closures during the parade.


What would you say have been the festival’s greatest moments throughout its history?

It is difficult to say what the festival’s greatest moments were throughout its history, but in 2017 we had a very successful 80th festival, and we are looking forward to its 90th in 2027.


What can readers expect to look forward to at this year’s Dickens Festival?

At this year’s festival, we have:

Schools performing at the Bandstand on Friday; Dickensian Mini-Golf; Beach Party; Barry Wootton and Friends at the Gap Project; Taking Coffee with the Dickensians; Croquet in Nuckells Gardens; Grand Parade; Victorian Fayre at Pierremont, including entertainment; and the play Oliver Twist which takes place from Friday – Sunday at Sarah Thorne Theatre.


How can readers keep up to date with the festival and buy tickets?

A programme of our events will be on our website shortly, plus we have lots of interesting information on our Facebook page @BroadstairsDickensFestival. Tickets can be bought for the festival play via the Sarah Thorne website:


What do you personally enjoy most about living in Broadstairs?

What I love about Broadstairs is that there is always something happening – we have numerous events happening throughout the year, and I love our glorious seven sandy bays and its vibrant High Street. I wouldn’t live anywhere else.


Broadstairs Dickens Festival CIC

Registered Number: 11741249

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