Viking theme for 10-day Johnsmas Foy

This year’s 10-day Johnsmas Foy will have a Viking theme, with a series of events including the re-staging of a Viking battle and a Viking feast as well as talks, concerts, workshops and exhibitions.

The event, which is to be opened by SIC convener Sandy Cluness on Thursday 18th June, has attracted the Polish historical re-enactment group Walhalla Vikings who will visit Old Scatness between Friday 19th and Sunday 20th June. The Viking feast will be held in the Dunrossness central hall on the Friday evening.

The foy’s opening ceremony will be held at 6.30pm in the Shetland Museum and Archives immediately prior to the launch of the dramatic Sails in St Magnus exhibition, one of the principal events of this year’s festival.

Shetland Amenity Trust general manager Jimmy Moncrieff will open the exhibition and the sails themselves, which depict the journey of Earl Rognvald to the Holy Land in 1151, will hang in the museum auditorium throughout the event. Both these launch events will be open to the general public.

Two of the sails artists Dave Jackson and Erlend Brown, both from Orkney, will be in attendance at the opening and will offer guided tours of the exhibition following its launch.

Dave and Erlend will also conduct further guided tours of the exhibition on the 19th and 20th of June at 10.30am and 2.30pm each day. These tours are provided free of charge.

Rognvald’s Journey will also feature in another of the foy’s main events when Tom Muir, Bob Pegg and Bill Taylor will depict the story of his adventures in words and music.

This event will take place on 24th June in the Shetland Museum and Archives at 7.30pm and again on 26th June in Haroldswick Hall, Unst also at 7.30 – both events are promoted by Shetland Arts. Tickets are priced £6 and £4 can be obtained from the Shetland Box Office, Islesburgh Community Centre – phone (01595) 692114.

SIC cultural spokesman councillor Rick Nickerson, who is also the chairman of the Johnsmas Foy Committee, said this year’s foy was shaping up to be another exciting and informative event.

“Shetland’s relationships to the Viking world are of course incredibly strong and well documented and this year’s foy seeks to celebrate that with a wide range of associated events,” he said.

“The events themselves take many different formats and cover many cultural bases and I can safely say that we can indeed boast something for everyone again this time around.”

The Johnsmas Foy runs from 18th to 28th June and full details of all the events can be found at


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