PAYSON -- An entertainment and shopping event with all the trappings of an old-fashioned Christmas will hark back to yesteryear as the Payson Downtown Alliance holds its second annual Christmas Carol Festival Friday and Saturday.

Named after Charles Dickens' 1843 novel, "A Christmas Carol," the festival is set in Payson's historic downtown where some buildings date back more than a century.Adding to the atmosphere, merchants will be dressed in period costumes while high school students from Payson and Spanish Fork challenge each other in performing scenes from Dickens' novel on the street, said Randy Lindstrom of the merchants association. Other Dickens characters -- about 80 of them -- will be roaming the streets, entertaining passers-by.

"We'll have open fire barrels like they did in the olden days," Lindstrom said. People strolling by can sample chestnuts roasting on an open fire, just like the Mel Torme and Robert Wells song says.

Carriages will be on hand to take people on an old-fashioned ride.

"It just really is the old flavor. You've got all the time in the world. You can sit down and talk with your friends and feel you're not wasting time. It really brings out wonderful things in people," he said.

"Each store will be doing an old-fashioned activity, either food or craft (booth)," Lindstrom said.

"It's a business booster for Main Street merchants," Keith Barnett said. A jeweler, Barnett is in charge of this year's event.

"It's a turn-of-the century Main Street, and we want to keep it that way," he said.

The event doesn't have an official Dickens theme because of copyright restrictions, but it is set in that time period. Last year nearly 2,000 people visited the festival. "We hope to double that this year," Barnett said.

One of the more unique features is a live Nativity scene by Young Living Essential Oils. The scene will be set up at the entrance to the Young Living headquarters across from the city park about a block south of the historic downtown area. Not only are the actors live as the first Christmas story is told, but so are the animals, including camels with Wise Men astride.

The animals come from Young Living's petting zoo in Mona, where it has a farm that grows the herbs the company uses in manufacturing its oils. Among those oils are frankincense and myrrh, which date back centuries and were considered so precious that they were given to the Christ child.

The Christmas story will be told continually Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 9 p.m.

Other events include a street dance Friday night starting at 7 p.m. and appearances by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Santa will make his appearance Saturday at noon, while Mrs. Claus will be in the park gazebo. Musical groups and dancers, including cloggers, will entertain throughout the event.

"The talent is quite varied, and we use local talent as well as talent from other parts of (Utah) County," Barnett said.