Popular Viking festival on Norfolk coast is cancelled for next year
- Credit: Archant
While hordes of Vikings marauding these shores once sparked panic and fear, they now draw thousands of curious spectators.
But one of the north Norfolk coast’s biggest winter events - the Sheringham Scira Viking Festival - has sadly had to be cancelled for 2021 due to the pandemic.
Colin Seal, who founded the festival in 2014, said though it could not go ahead as usual next February, there was a chance smaller Viking-themed events might be able to be staged later on in the year to make up for it.
Mr Seal said: “Unfortunately we have cancelled it.
“The [carnival] committee is going to adapt and make the best of a bad situation.
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“That’s what we do, and that’s what the Vikings did.”
The week-long festival usually draws thousands of visitors to the town. Events include axe-throwing competitions, combat and craft demonstrations, re-tellings of Norse myths and children’s workshops.
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The festival culminates in a parade and the burning of a Viking longboat on the beach.
MORE: Thousands turn out for Viking Festival finaleMost of the 28ft-long (8.5 metre) boat that would have been burned at next year’s festival has already been built by Henry Howe, and has a decorative head painted by Brian Lewis.
Mr Seal said the boat would be wrapped up for winter and would possibly go on display next year, before being used for the 2021 festival.
He said: “It’s the biggest boat we’ve ever made and it’s going to be decorated better than ever before.
“For this one we’ll have more time to work on the minutia and details, because we love doing it.
The festival is grounded in local history - the name Sheringham is believed to have originated from an Old Norse word for a Viking lord - Scira - with ‘heim’, the Norse term for home.
The festival is organised by the Sheringham Carnival committee, which also takes the lead on a number of other events throughout the year in the town.