Viking Festival gets off to a fighting start ahead of boat-burning finale
- Credit: Archant
Sheringham Scira Viking Festival got off to a spectacular start this morning, with families turning out in force to visit a living history village and see re-enactors stage battles at the Leas clifftop gardens.
The annual event, which reaches its finale this evening with a torchlit procession through the town followed by the ceremonial burning of a 28ft longboat on the beach, has been hailed a 'huge success' by organisers, with dozens of youngsters and their families taking part in a week-long series of craft workshops held at Sheringham Museum, and crowds in the thousands expected for tonight's parade.
Festival team member Chris Neville said spectators had come from as far afield as Durham and Reading to watch the battles and wander around the village, which includes Viking cooking, crafts and weaponry, as well as have-a-go axe-throwing demonstrations and a working iron forge.
'People were here before everything had even been set up,' he added. 'It's been absolutely wonderful so far and we are expecting sunshine for the rest of the day, so I think this afternoon's battle on the beach and boat-burning will be amazing.'
Sheringham Museum chairman of directors Tim Groves praised Mr Neville and his fellow festival organisers Jill Brammer and Colin Seal for their hard work and dedication.
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'It's been a huge success, there is a great atmosphere, everyone in the village is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and we have had an enormous number of positive comments from the whole community,' he said.
The Viking village will be open all afternoon on the Leas, with re-enactors staging a battle on the east beach at 2.30pm.
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Vikings will march to the top of the town at 5pm for the grand finale, with the torchlit procession moving off at 5.15pm and the honour guard arriving at the beach below the Leas for the boat-burning at 5.45pm.