Dickens Carolers perform around Eagle County for the holiday season | VailDaily.com

Dickens Carolers perform around Eagle County for the holiday season

The Dickens Carolers have been performing locally for more than three decades.

EAGLE COUNTY — The Dickens Carolers are in the memory business, says Dickens Caroler Jon Gamble.

For three decades they've been singing Christmas music you know, and they love it when you sing along.

They're easy to spot. They're the ones dressed in the 1890s-era styles, and they're happy to be there, wherever there is.

"We're guaranteed to be filled with the Christmas spirit by the time we're done performing, that's for sure," Gamble said.

They're at the Minturn Winter Market today from noon to 1 p.m. and at The Riverwalk at Edwards from 5 to 6 p.m.

The music is a capella — they sing unaccompanied by instruments. It can sometimes be a little tough to leave a warm house to go sing on a cold night, but then they get there and see people's faces, and it's all worth it.

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"That always makes it special," Gamble said.

The rest of the year they're the Vail Community Chorale, a bunch of people who love to sing and, generally, love each other.

Gamble and his wife, Nancy, are the last two originals, and they met as part of the chorale. In fact, they've had three marriages come out of the chorale.

The Dickens Carolers are an eclectic group that includes engineers, architects, teachers, construction workers and truck drivers. They don't have to be accomplished musicians. They just have to love music and be able to play — and sing — well with others.

When they started all those years ago they didn't have their distinctive 1890s costumes. They dressed themselves out in scarfs and hats, which worked out more or less OK. But one year the group was asked to perform for the Crystal Ball Fundraiser in Beaver Creek, so they rented Victorian costumes. When they walked into the room, conversations stopped, people listened and they knew they were onto something.

Winter Market

The Minturn Winter Market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and features seasonal fare, gift merchants, carolers and alpine music, hot cocoa and s'mores.

"The Winter Market is the only outdoor market of its kind in Eagle County," said Michelle Metteer, market organizer and Minturn economic development coordinator. "It provides a fun and unique opportunity to locals and guests."

Santa photos are available from noon to 2 p.m., and a Holiday Fever 5K and Family Fun Run will be held today at 10 a.m. Register for the 5K or fun run at http://www.active.com.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If you go

What: Minturn Winter Market

When: Today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Downtown Minturn

More information: Call 970-827-5645