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Hemsby viking festival draws close

PUBLISHED: 16:53 23 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:50 30 June 2010

ORGANISERS aim to put Hemsby on the heritage map next month by attracting thousands of visitors to the coastal village's first Viking festival.

Norwich-based brand strategy guru Simon Middleton, who has led the re-invention of the resort near Great Yarmouth as a former Viking settlement, hopes the event becomes as established as the annual Jorvik festival in York which has been running for 30 years.

ORGANISERS aim to put Hemsby on the heritage map next month by attracting thousands of visitors to the coastal village's first Viking festival.

Norwich-based brand strategy guru Simon Middleton, who has led the re-invention of the resort near Great Yarmouth as a former Viking settlement, hopes the event becomes as established as the annual Jorvik festival in York which has been running for 30 years.

He said: “People in tourism understand that heritage events are a very big draw. This time it is being done on a limited budget but we hope it will go from strength to strength in future years.”

The Vikings of Middle England re-enactment group will be setting up camp in the village from Friday June 18 to Sunday June 20.

The group will be visiting local schools on the Friday to show crafts, talk about the Viking history of Hemsby and demonstrate Viking lifestyle.

Then in the village over the weekend there will be demonstrations of coin striking, metalwork and even Viking “surgery” (aka children's face painting with battle wound scars.)

Events will include archery demonstrations and several full-on Viking battles involving dozens of warriors in full Viking gear.

There will also be a Viking letter-hunt with a souvenir medallion for all those who complete it.

There will be Scandinavian crafts, and a chance to buy Viking paraphernalia such as toy swords, clothing and shields.

On the Saturday evening Abba tribute band Abba's Angels will play, and to round the night off there will be a torch-light procession from the camp down to the beach where a Viking Longboat will be burned in a spectacular ceremony.

The Sunday will see a similar programme to the Saturday.


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