With a mighty roar and three cheers for Up-Helly-A’ the 2020 festival got under way in fine style on Tuesday morning.
A crisp and frosty start to the day greeted Odin – Lord of the Gallows and his squad of 55 Vikings as they formed the ranks outside Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick.
The centre is Guizer Jarl Liam Summers’ workplace and before leaving Islesburgh a presentation was made to staff there. Mr Summers said he it made the start to his day as Guizer Jarl extra special.
After best wishes from his colleagues, he and the squad gathered outside for their first public appearance and the first chance for the public to see the squad suit. With burgundy kirtles, covered by a leather breastplate and a grey cloak the squad was looking spectacular, all bearing double-headed axes and shields bearing an intricate design.
The helmets feature leather latticing and each squad member was wearing a cosy-looking pair of black sheepskin boots.
And they were in fine voice, with cheers for the festival, the jarl and his wife Sandra. With that the Lerwick pipe band launched into a march and the procession was on its way. The first part of a very busy day for the Guizer Jarl and his squad.