Wet weather fails to dampen Fire Festival fun

Pictured during the Viking parade at the first annual Viking Fire Festival was hosted on Wexford’s quayside by the Irish National Heritage Park. The historical Wexford town was transformed back to Viking times, as the Wexford Quayside was turned into a real-life Viking Village hosting an immersive experience akin to life over a thousand years ago..Picture: Patrick Browne

The rain and gales that descended over Wexford on Saturday evening failed to dampen the spirits of the festival organiser’s and festival-goers for the first annual Viking Fire Festival which drew crowds of over 3,000 on Wexford’s Quayside. It was a busy afternoon as they enjoyed coin striking, spinning, weaving, leatherworking, metalwork and woodwork, storytelling and even some slave trading. The Viking Village was fully populated with re-enactors who all had varying village life roles as if it were 900AD.
At 7.15 pm over 100 Vikings took to the streets of Wexford as they paraded from Selskar Square onto Abbey Street, South Main Street and onto the Quayside led by the Bloco Garman Drummers, organiser of the event Maura Bell Manager at the Irish National Heritage Park says it was a sight to behold; “The Viking parade through the historic streets of Wexford on Saturday evening was a real highlight; over 100 Vikings in full costume carrying fire torches could be seen marching on Wexford town, a scene which offered real authenticity with an incredible atmosphere.”
As the parade arrived onto the Quayside the Skilled Fire Performers from Inferno performed a daring fire show as they cast fire into the air, juggled, danced and even showed off some fire breathing.
Throughout the day Raven Dale Band and the Bloco Garman Drummers provided street entertainment and a Food and Craft beer market served up lots of Viking themed dishes. Families took to exploring the streets of Wexford on a Viking Treasure Hunt as they found hidden clues discovering the ancient heritage of Viking Wexford. The winners have won a Viking Stayover at the Irish National Heritage Park, Wexford. The winners of the retail Window Dressing Competition are B Corcoran’s Menswear Main Street Wexford won the window dressing competition, they portrayed the Viking world in the very best way.
Thirty-two schools entered the children’s colouring competition, the main competition category winners are from Oliwia from Mercy School St Johns Road, Wexford, Cillian from Naomh Maodhg in Ferns and Katie from St John of God School in The Faythe, Wexford, and Leslie from Ard Oibhinn, Wexford.
At Wexford Library the Gallivanting Storyteller Lorraine told children’s stories and Derek O’Brien hosted a talk on daily life in Viking Wexford’ sharing details of the Vikings in Ireland through their clothes and weapons.

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