Pirates, knights, music and maritime celebrations to take place at the King’s Lynn Hanse Festival

The Hanse Festival will return to King's Lynn on Sunday, May 20. Picture: Matthew Usher

The Hanse Festival will return to King's Lynn on Sunday, May 20. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Archant

It's all hanse on deck this weekend as King's Lynn transports back to the medieval era to celebrate the town's heritage.

The Hanse Festival will return to King's Lynn on Sunday, May 20. Picture: Ian Burt

The Hanse Festival will return to King's Lynn on Sunday, May 20. Picture: Ian Burt

The annual Hanse Festival celebrates the port town's past and present membership of the Hanseatic league, a powerful medieval trading alliance which began in the 13th century and thought to be the first kind of Common Market.

Taking place on Sunday, May 20, the festival programme is packed with parades, music, film and fun, free activities for the family.

Taking place the day after the Royal wedding, the Hanse Festival also has a Royal connection with proceedings being officially opened by Countess Romney, Vice Lord‐Lieutenant of Norfolk.

This year for the first time the Hanse Festival will feature a flag parade, which will begin at 10.30am at the Tuesday Market place, proceed towards Saturday Market place and finish at the centrepiece of the festival, Kings Staithe Square.

The Hanse Festival will return to King's Lynn on Sunday, May 20. Picture: Matthew Usher. Picture: Ia

The Hanse Festival will return to King's Lynn on Sunday, May 20. Picture: Matthew Usher. Picture: Ian Burt


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A rowing race and Royal Regatta will take place on the Great Ouse and a fanfare with music from local and international performers will take place along the South Quay.

There will be numerous activities for children around the town including a Hanseatic Treasure Trail, a Rampage of Pirates and the opportunity to shop in the recreation of a Hanseatic Shop in the Hanse House.

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A medieval market will be trading in the Purfleet and the High Street, and performers, music and dancing groups will be performing throughout the town and on the stage in King's Staithe Square.

Archive footage of King's Lynn's fishing, trading and maritime past will be screened in the Town Hall, as well as talks and tours on King's Lynn's role as a founder member of the Hanseatic League over the centuries.

For those wanting to celebrate early, the Hanse Band will perform at All Saints Church on Friday, May 18 and a concert performed by the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra will take place at St Nicholas' Chapel on Saturday, May 19.

The King's Lynn Hanse Festival marks the start of the town's festival season, which will be followed by King's Lynn Festival and Festival Too.

To find out more about the Hanse Festival, visit: www.kingslynnhansefestival.co.uk.

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