Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Queen Victoria’

Farmer’s Daughter to Queen Victoria

 

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During childhood, her cousin, Cheryl, and Connie enjoyed dressing as cowgirls.

Growing up on the farm as a shy young lady, Connie Oliver Humphrey never expected to travel the world, but she always enjoyed role playing. Even as a child, Connie liked to don costumes and pretend to be someone else. One of those earliest ones happened to be Dale Evans. At home she would dress in her cowgirl hat and boots as she became Queen of the West.

The first time this shy young lady ever performed on stage happened at Cambridge High School during the senior class play, with just a small part. Most of her high school years were spent in the bookmobile reading all the books in the history section.

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Always interested in costumes, this Victorian lady helped with the Dickens Victorian Village’s Victorian Tea & Fashion Show.

So when Connie went to Marietta College, it seemed natural to major in history. However, lack of encouragement from the history teacher and a notice of her theatrical abilities from another, had her changing gears. Theater became her major and creating costumes her passion.

Still, when she graduated, Connie wasn’t sure what she wanted to do or where she wanted to live. Before making a final decision, Connie became a stewardess for Piedmont Airlines. Then she met the man who would change her world. Michael worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, which eventually led them on many great adventures.

Before long, Connie didn’t have to worry about where she would live as Michael became an Agricultural attache in the American Embassy in places such as Moscow, Hong Kong, and Jakarta, then moved on to Singapore. Connie was off to see the world.

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In the musical, Quilters, Connie’s pioneer portrayal included playing the spoons.

On this amazing adventure, she never knew what was going to happen next. In each country, she joined the local theater group, where she helped with costumes and became an actress.

When on stage, her shyness disappeared as she became a different person. In her words, “I put Connie on a hook in the dressing room.” Only once did Connie and Michael appear on the same stage in a spoof on Robin Hood and His Merry Men. It required Connie to sing off-key, which she said wasn’t difficult for her.

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In the one-woman play, Belle of Amherst, Connie portrayed Emily Dickinson.

In Jakarta, one of her favorite performances took place in the role of Emily Dickinson. Connie performed a one-woman show on stage there in the play, Belle of Amherst. She learned the poetry from the heart and talked to the audience as though she were carrying on a conversation with them.

Emily spent her life as a recluse, writing poetry and stashing it away because one suitor told her she was not a poet. Still she wrote as if she experienced the joys and sorrows of the human race.

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This quilt made from pieces of her Quilters costume still graces her guest bedroom. The green/white check was from her costume and the beige batik is typically Indonesian.

During their travels, they shared many wonderful experiences with family and new friends. One of those happened at a Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, where they attended a traditional Easter service. Only children and grandparents were permitted to participate, with the militia there to guard again other adult participation. As part of the American Embassy, they were permitted to view the impressive service.

Her favorite place, Hong Kong, overflowed with life and color. Every nationality walked their streets. which held plentiful food and supplies. Something exciting happened frequently wherever they lived. From an elephant ride in Indonesia to the dynamic Fourth of July fireworks in Washington D.C., new experiences created lifetime memories.

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Her role as Queen Victoria adds dignity to Dickens Victorian Village.

Upon her return to Guernsey County, Connie became involved with Dickens Victorian Village working on their Creative Team creating costumes for the mannequins.Then last year, with a bit of encouragement, she stepped into the role of Queen Victoria, queen during the time of Charles Dickens.

“How does someone get to be Queen?”

“You must select your parents with great care.”

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Schoolchildren greeted Queen Victoria with cheers and flags of England.

Her visits to the elementary schools have been well received and she often greets visitors at opportune moments throughout the season. Connie enjoys getting dressed for her role as Queen Victoria, where she holds children under her spell as she tells of life as Queen.In December, there will also be a program, Dickens Audience with the Queen, where she shares the stage with historian, Chris Hart.

In her spare time, Connie’s role as farmer’s wife continues and she works tirelessly for the First Presbyterian Church in Cambridge. Her husband, children and grandchildren always come first, and give her a glow of happiness for all to see.

Connie values the freedom we have in our country after viewing life in some of the places they served. In fact in the near future, they plan an RV trip across the United States, a place they have not yet explored. They have people and places to see on their journey.

But first she must reign as Queen Victoria in Dickens Victorian Village.

 

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Queen’s Parade Brings a Delightful Regal Touch to Dickens Victorian Village

 

The Queen's Parade

The Queen’s Parade

Everyone loves a parade, and the Queen’s Parade brings a touch of life from times gone by. People line the streets of downtown Cambridge for the Dickens Victorian Village’s second annual Queen’s Parade on Nov. 8. The parade, in honor of elegant Queen Victoria, will head down Wheeling Avenue at 1:00, as a touch of royalty enters the streets of Cambridge. The Queen will be accompanied by Gerald Dickens, great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.

Cambridge Social Dance Club performance

Cambridge Social Dance Club performance

Step back to a time before motorized vehicles, as many entertaining groups, too numerous to list, either walk, ride horseback, or are driven in carriages.  Among those walking are members of the Cambridge Social Dance Club, who have been a part of the annual celebrations for several years. See them dance their way down the street as well as perform at the Victorian Street Fair on E. 8th Street. They’re just getting warmed up for Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball next weekend.

Local dance studio students parade down Wheeling Avenue as street sweepers, who were needed in the time of Charles Dickens. The newly formed band at East Guernsey Schools will be making an appearance and perhaps a portion of the ever popular Cambridge City Band will perform for this occasion as an old-fashioned Clown Band.

Funeral Hearse followed by mourners

Funeral Hearse followed by mourners

A procession of mourners follow the horse-drawn hearse as they head to the “Victorian Funeral Experience”, which will be held the following day, Sunday, Nov. 8th at 1:00 at the Gross Mansion.

The Medicine Man, Dr.Thelonious Balthazar, rides in a carriage at the parade. The Medicine Man will actually have two shows on Saturday at the Victorian Street Fair. The first show is at 11:00 before the parade, while the second performance will be at 4:00 in the afternoon. You won’t want to miss his words of medical advice!

Participants in “Whiskers Wars” also walk in the parade. Come out and encourage these manly men, as they have been grooming their beards all summer long. Several categories exist for beard entries and judging will be held at the Dickens Street Fair on the steps of the bank. Most entrants dress in costumes of the Dickens era, so show your Victorian spirit and cheer for your favorite contestant.

Bagpipers escort the Queen

Bagpipers escort the Queen

The sounds of the Akron Bagpipe Band announce the arrival of Queen Victoria’s elegant, horse-drawn carriage. Then the Queen heads to the Victorian Street Fair where she oversees activities for the remainder of the afternoon.

However, the parade is just a small portion of the excitement for “Queen Victoria Weekend”, the second themed weekend of the Dickens Victorian Village season. If you would like to learn about additional activities, visit their website at http://www.DickensVictorianVillage.com or call 1-800-933-5480.

Dickens Victorian Village takes place from November through mid-January each year when Historic Downtown Cambridge comes to life with 92 scenes of 166 life-like figures representing classic scenes from Victorian society. To add to the festive atmosphere, each evening from 5:30-9:00, the magnificent 1881 Guernsey County Courthouse Music & Light Show pulsates to holiday music with synchronized lights.

See you at the parade!

Dickens Victorian Village is located in Downtown Cambridge, Ohio near the crossroads of I-70 and I-77. Take any Cambridge exit and you are sure to find yourself on Route 40, which heads straight through Downtown Cambridge.

 

Excitement Reigned During Queen Victoria’s Recent Visit to Dickens Victorian Village

Queen Victoria visits Cambridge, Ohio.

Queen Victoria, portrayed by Anne Boyd, visits Cambridge, Ohio.

Imagine, if you will, stepping back to the time when Queen Victoria ruled Great Britain from 1837-1901. She had the longest reign of any British monarch in history – 64 years! During that time author, Charles Dickens, wrote his famous “A Christmas Carol”. Thus, Cambridge, Ohio, the home of Dickens Victorian Village, was the perfect place for their paths to cross again in modern times.

Queen Victoria, portrayed by Anne Boyd, visited Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge for a weekend of fun. Anne Boyd enjoys playing the role of Queen in various places – from Victoria, British Columbia to Dickens on the Strand in Galveston, Texas. Her visit in Cambridge began on Friday morning when the Queen, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, visited the local schools. Children gathered along the walks, bowing and curtsying to Her Majesty.

Queen presents students dressed as her five daughters.

At Central School, Queen Victoria presents students dressed as her five daughters.

Since the royal couple had nine children – five girls and four boys – five young ladies were chosen to portray her daughters. Each of the girls looked lovely in the cape and tiara she was given to wear. They all seemed quite pleased to be part of the festivities.

Queen Victoria told the students how she and her husband, Albert, started the Christmas tree tradition throughout Great Britain. The Queen’s Christmas tree in Windsor Palace was featured in The Illustrated London News in 1848. Candles lit the tree while a bucket of sand and another of water were always placed close by…just in case of fire. They hand-made all of the ornaments: cornucopias filled with candy or nuts, and beautiful glass balls studded with jewels.

A Bagpipe Band announces the Queen.

A Bagpipe Band announces the Queen.

Cambridge Social Dance Club

Cambridge Social Dance Club presented Victorian dances in beautiful Victorian dress.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the Queen’s Parade. There were no motorized vehicles permitted so it was a quiet time, except for the wonderful bagpippers. Men on stilts and large wheeled bicycles added to the fun of the day. The Cambridge Social Dance Club performed traditional Victorian dances.

Knighting Ceremony

Knighting Ceremony with Katy Billings, lady-in-waiting; Eugene Kyle, town crier; Queen Victoria; and volunteer of the year, Lindy Thaxton, who was knighted.

A knighting ceremony by the Queen involved several local students as well as Lindy Thaxton, the Dickens volunteer-of-the-year. Eugene Kyle, dressed in the proper flowing robe of the town crier, read the proclamations with flourish. When the Queen was handed the sword for knighting, she also whispered some words of encouragement to the individual.

Her lady-in-waiting portrayed by Katy Billings was always at her side tending to her every wish. She helped the Queen by handing her capes, tiaras and swords, attended every event with the Queen, and learned patience while having lots of fun.

The Queen enjoyed the many activities of the weekend, which included: a High Tea with the Queen, GeoCaching with Dickens, Tavern Tasting, Mingle with the Monarch at the Cambridge Glass Museum, and a “Gone But Not Forgotten” Victorian Funeral Program.

Queen Victoria enjoyed the small town atmosphere and hopes to return another year. She was a very pleasant lady, who accepted every person as if they were an important part of her kingdom. When at home with her family, Anne has a reputation for making the world’s best chocolate chip cookies. Anyway you look at it, she was a very sweet lady.

The Queen’s Weekend was one of several special weekends at Dickens Victorian Village in 2013. The Village is open through out November and December in downtown Cambridge, Ohio with many activities for the entire family. Cambridge, Ohio is at the crossroads of I-70 and I-77 so can easily be located.

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