A VIKING wedding and live music in York Minster will be among the highlights when the 28th Jorvik Viking Festival is held in York next year.

The festival, which runs between February 16 and 24, offers a programme for adults and children, with combat and craft displays, Viking feasts, and performances from children’s authors and award-winning musicians running throughout the week.

Hundreds of visitors are expected from around the country to take part in the event, which climaxes in a massive battle reenactment and the traditional Festival Of Fire, when fire jugglers and fireworks will mark the end of the 2013 festival.

Danielle Daglan, organiser of the festival, said: “It’s shaping up to be one of our best festivals yet.

“This year marks 40 years of York Archaeological Trust, and our 2013 Viking Festival will celebrate our archaeological roots in a programme that combines historical walking tours, ‘meet the experts’ opportunities, music and entertainment with fantastic events for all the family.

We’ll be calling on budding young archaeologists to bring along their finds for Mick Aston, formally of Time Team, to identify; test their strength in our strongman challenge for children; learn to sword fight and meet some of the most horrid characters from York’s history, thanks to Terry Deary.”

A Viking homecoming will be held at the Minster on Wednesday, February 20, celebrating the exploring the archaeological and historical roots of the building, with music and stories at the Minster.

Tickets are available for the Heimkoma, or Homecoming, event, specially created for the 2013 festival, when King Svein and his son Cnut celebrate their return to York, also on February 20.

Performers including The 24 Choir, Hannah Witcomb, and Jorvik Vikings, will try to impress the new king with music, song and poetry by candlelight in the Minster. Tickets cost from £10, and must be pre-booked on 08449 390015.

A series of family-friendly events will also be held on February 20 and 22, including shield-making and storytelling, between 10am and 3pm at the Minster, with tickets costing £2.50, while the Gods and Goddesses Family Fun Trail runs every day throughout the festival at Clifford’s Tower, with prizes available to those who take part.

For more information on any of the events, and for a full programme and schedule, phone 01904 615505 or go to jorvik-viking-centre.com