Voyaging Vikings will be making a nine day stop in York next month, as the city welcomes its 36th annual celebration of all things Norse at the JORVIK Viking Festival, running from Saturday 15 to Sunday 23 February.
For 2020, the Festival incorporates two weekends, to give even more visitors a chance to explore the lives of those who settled in the city, whilst also taking a look at how Vikings were perceived by other cultures around the world during their travels – sometimes trading, sometimes raiding. The mainstay living history encampment in Parliament Street will provide a constant presence, with the smell of woodsmoke and fresh timber filling the air from demonstrations of Viking woodturning and metal work.
“Weekends are by far the busiest time for the JORVIK Viking Festival, and incorporating two weekends makes the Festival accessible to any families whose half term holidays don’t align with those of York and North Yorkshire – we’re hoping that more people than ever before come along to experience a slice of our proud Norse heritage and enjoy the vast range of events on offer this year,” commented event manager, Gareth Henry of festival organisers, JORVIK Viking Centre, which is owned and operated by York Archaeological Trust.
Across the packed nine days, a host of events, activities, demonstrations and talks are available, many of which are free of charge as part of the Trust’s educational goals. “Being surrounded by all things Viking is a superb and fun way of learning about this remarkable culture – whether you spend time chatting to the re-enactors who repopulate the Viking city for us, attending lectures and expert talks, trying out new skills in a hands-on workshop, or even just watching the magnificent March To Coppergate through the city streets, everyone takes away something new when they visit,” added marketing manager, Beth Dawes.
New for 2020 will be a Viking costume competition, looking to find the best-dressed Viking in York on Saturday 15 February at 3pm on the stage in St Sampson’s Square, and a Trichinopoly workshop, teaching the art of Viking wire weaving, on 18 February, which has already sold out.
A new route is set to be announced for the parade through the city centre, March to Coppergate, on Saturday 22 February giving new photo opportunities featuring around 200 costumed re-enactors as they walk through the city streets.
Full details of all the events in the 2020 JORVIK Viking Festival are now available online at www.jorvikvikingfestival.co.uk, where visitors can also pre-book tickets for key events. Some events – including the Viking Banquet on Saturday 15 February and the night time son-et-lumiere Battle Spectacular in the Land of Darkness have already sold out, so reservations for other activities and the lecture programme are strongly recommended.
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