Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Annagassan Viking Festival 2008

flickr photo link: <Annagassan Viking Festival 2008>
Well, the festival is over. Everything went incredibly well, and as Ireland currently gurgles under the deluge of the century, someone upstairs was definitely shining down on Annagassan in good favour. Apart from a few short showers, we escaped completely unscathed. We think possibly 2000 people came through the village over the 2 days, and the highlight at the end of the festival was the burning of the monastery on the beach next to the harbour. There were moments of genuine theatre as the vikings fired their flaming arrows trying to set the thing alight. Then alight it was... once the fire got going it was fierce! This was framed by the most incredible rainbow across Dundalk Bay. The vikings, of course, were brilliant. Jesper even took an injury in the final battle on Sunday afternoon. The viking village was brilliant too. They made it their own for the 2 days. Conor and the volunteers did a great job, from set up to fund raising, conducting history tours and doing their best to control the car parking! There are too many people to mention. And the website (http://www.annagassanvikingfestival.com/) got a good mention by the politican who opened the festival.
There were great (long) nights in the pub, where sadly we had to leave around midnight Sunday as the village took turns singing songs with Cathal, Patricia & the other musicians. Simply great community & great craic - Ireland at it's best & most awe-inspiring. Unfortunately we don't have many photos of our own as Clare & I were literally run off our feet from Friday evening to Sunday evening, but there is another site with photos - Derek Tuite Photography, Saturday & Sunday, and we did manage to get some photos of the burning of the monastery on Sunday evening. Perhaps Clare will write some words too...

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