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Huge Viking Festival to return to the Humber region after successful first year

Grimsby’s Viking festival – which attracted more than 22,000 people in its inaugural year – will return this September.

Thousands of people descended on Grimsby town centre in 2022 for three days of battle re-enactments, parades and markets, all to celebrate the town’s legendary founder, Grim the Viking.

Organisers, the Visitor Economy Services and Retail group (VESR CIC) and Heritage Lincolnshire, can today reveal that the second Grim FalFest will take place between Friday 8th and Sunday 10th September this year.

Grim FalFest, which is supported and funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, celebrates the town’s proud Viking heritage in a free, three-day event for families.  The Vikings are set to return and bring to life the 1,000-year-old story of Grim, his legendary escape alongside Danish royalty – Prince Havelock – and his role as founder of the town we know today.

Julia Thompson, chair of VESR CIC said: “We are so excited to be able to announce the return of Grim FalFest for 2023. With celebrations taking place in Grimsby town centre and People’s Park, the return of Grim and his Vikings promises to be a packed three days for everyone to enjoy and find out about our Viking heritage.”

One of the showpiece events from last year saw thousands of people line the River Haven close to the Fishing Heritage Centre as two longships sailed towards the town centre, before Grim disembarked and led a march into Riverhead Square. While details around the plans for 2023 are being kept under wraps for the next few weeks, visitors can expect another impressive spectacle.

With regeneration work affecting Riverhead Square, this year’s event will focus on the waterfront, St James’ Square and People’s Park. 

Julia continued: “Grim FalFest was enjoyed by so many families last year and gave a huge boost to our local community and businesses. It will be great to see that exciting atmosphere return to Grimsby town centre once again. We’d also welcome local businesses to join and help celebrate the return of Grim and his Vikings.”

Alysha Sargent, event manager for Grim FalFest, said: “The 2022 event was an incredible success but we won’t be standing still. We have grand plans for this year including a look at Grim’s later life in the Kingdom of Lindsey. This will be the theme of one of the most spectacular events taking place this year and we can’t wait to share more news soon.”

Helen Featherstone, director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “We are delighted to support VESR CIC and Heritage Lincolnshire with this spectacular event, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. Grimsby is an Area of Focus for the Heritage Fund and we’re proud to see this grant being used to bring local people and visitors together to celebrate Grimsby’s rich Viking heritage, demonstrating why it is a town to be truly proud of.”

Opportunities are now open for sponsors, traders and volunteers who would like to be involved in Grim FalFest 2023. Already, local people have been invited to learn Taiko drumming and take part in the event. Anyone wanting to take part can register their interest by emailing info@grimfalfest.com or follow @grimfalfest on social media to keep in touch.

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