Record crowds expected for Viking Festival finale
PUBLISHED: 16:24 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:50 19 February 2019
Sheringham's Scira Viking Festival organisers are expecting record crowds on Saturday, when the annual event will come to a spectacular close with a torchlit parade and ceremonial burning of a 28ft longboat on the beach.
Family craft workshops run by festival organisers Jill Brammer and Chris Neville and Scira founder Colin Seal have seen more than 50 people a day turn up to Sheringham Museum to make Viking-themed tee shirts, shields, longboats and amulets, with other events still to come including an axe-making workshop and a Viking-style wool-making demonstration.
Ms Brammer, who helped paint the festival’s longboat centrepiece, said many workshops had been fully booked, with children and parents lining up to take part.
“They really have been very successful,” she said. “It has been lovely to see parents working with their children; they have made some fantastic things and have everyone has left with happy, smiling faces.”
Museum manager Lisa Little said the seafront venue, which has opened especially for festival week, had welcomed hundreds of people through its doors.
“The phone has been ringing off the hook and that is a testament to Jill, Colin and Chris and their hard work and dedication,” she added.
The main festival day on Saturday kicks off at the Leas clifftop gardens, where members of Wuffa Viking and Saxon Re-enactment Society will be setting up a Viking village with Viking cooking, crafts and weaponry, as well as a working iron forge.
Other festival day attractions will include morning and afternoon battles on the beach, with the dragon-headed longboat built by local carpenter Brian Howe and his son Henri taking pride of place in the town centre before being carried to the seafront as part of a parade led by a flame torch-carrying honour guard.
The boat will then be burnt on the beach below the Leas, with organisers handing out spot prizes for best-dressed children and adults, and spectators also entertained with fire-breathing from members of Norwich-based group Unhinged Circus.
For information and updates on Sheringham Scira Viking Festival, visit the festival Facebook page, or to book for the family activity week, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01263 824482.