Jorvik Viking Festival 2012.

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Racecourse Road, York, England

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More than 40,000 people are expected to visit the annual

Jorvik Viking Festival

in York next week which was launched with a spectacular visual display by a local company.

This year marks the 27th festival, which officially starts on Saturday but was launched last night with the projection of an animated short film drawing heavily on Norse mythology on to the walls of Clifford’s Tower, The light-hearted animation was created by York-based Glass Cannon, and will be the first of more than 80 events during the festival.

The 2012 JORVIK Viking Festival
The 2012 JORVIK Viking Festival

This Saturday and Sunday, performances of The Vikings’ Song – A Quest For Freedom will take place at Joseph Rowntree Theatre from 7pm.

Adapted from children’s author Peter Ward’s Viking Trilogy, the show features music composed by early music specialist Michael Fields and authentic reproductions of Viking instruments, performed by a cast from York St John University.

On Wednesday, a recreation of a Viking wedding will be held in the Minster at 7.30pm, and on Thursday, children’s author Jeremy Strong will be signing copies of his Viking At School and Viking In My Bed books at the National Centre for Early Music, in Walmgate, followed by a Viking-themed afternoon tea. Children enjoying half-term can take part in sword combat at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, with one-hour sessions running five times a day between Tuesday and Saturday.

The festival culminates on Saturday, February 18, night with the Festival Of Fire at York Racecourse, which will see Vikings fight in a ferocious battle, followed by fiery manifestations of Norse mythology, a firework display, and the burning of a 60ft-longship.

JORVIK Viking Festival Finale on York Racecourse.
JORVIK Viking Festival Finale on York Racecourse.

A reenactment of a battle between Vikings and Saxons at the Jorvik Viking Festival in York.

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