Town to go back to 979AD in festival
HISTORY is set to repeat itself in a spectacular way this weekend when the Viking invasion of Peel is re-enacted as part of the 2009 Viking Festival.
The programme of events will provide a fitting reminder of an era that helped shape Manx history.
After the success of previous festivals, organisers have designed an exciting programme for this year focusing on the year 979AD — the date of the first recorded Tynwald meeting.
>> What's on: Peel Viking Festival
It will be a truly international occasion with re-enactment groups coming from as far afield as Poland. They will add colour and vitality to the authentic Viking Village, this year located in the field adjacent to Peel Campsite and Swimming Pool.
As usual, the festival offers something for all ages.
Fittingly, the Island's schoolchildren will provide the curtain raiser, with school visits to the Viking Village taking place all this week for educational visits.
The public festival starts, like so many have in the past, on Peel beach at 7.30pm tonight (Friday), with the arrival by Viking Longship of Sigurd the Stout to claim ownership of the Isle of Man. This event is free of charge and should last around 30 minutes.
The Viking Village will recreate life as it was in the Viking times and visitors will be able to experience the sights, sounds and smell of life in the 10th century.
It will be open to the public on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Tynwald Day), July 4 to 6 and activities will be in progress throughout the day, from demonstrations to a weapons display and story telling.
The gates open at 10am and close at 5.30pm. Admission on the gate is 4 for adults, 2 for children. There will be free parking at Peel Clothworkers' School and Peel Campsite and Swimming Pool.
On Sunday (July 5), the crowds will gather on Peel beach at 10pm for a Son et Lumiere — a sound and light spectacular with all the Vikings taking part in torch light parades from Peel Castle and Peel Hill and Viking longboat, culminating in the now traditional burning of the boat.
Anyone can join in the parades. You don't have to dress as a Viking.
although spare Viking outfits will be available for those who wish to look the part.
Just go along to the Viking Village on Saturday or Sunday and ask for any of The Vikings of Mann for more instructions.
On Tynwald Day itself (Monday, July 6), the village will be open from 10am till 5pm with skills and battle displays in the main arena culminating in a re-enactment of the very first Tynwald (979AD) at 3pm.
For a full list of events, log on to www.iomvikingfestival.com
The festival has been supported by the Department of Tourism and Leisure, Peel Commissioners, the Public Lottery Trust and sponsors Red Scaffolding and Manx Radio.