An annual festival celebrating Lynn’s sea-trading heritage will recreate the hustle and bustle of a historically thriving waterfront when it returns to the town next month.
This year’s International Hanse Day will be marked on Saturday, May 17, with a packed programme of events to showcase the town’s Hanseatic links both past and present.
West Norfolk Council unveiled plans for its Hanse Festival at a launch event on Wednesday, when leader Nick Daubney said it would bring the quayside to life.
He said: “Historically the town has thrived on its waterfront and the international trade it has brought.
“The festival will help return some of that vibrancy to the area and get people enjoying the waterfront again.”
There are 182 cities in 16 countries which make up the modern Hanse.
Each year, all member cities are encouraged to celebrate their Hanseatic heritage and their involvement in the modern Hanse network, with Lynn holding an annual Hanse Festival since 2009.
This year’s Hanse Day celebrations will centre on the Hanseatic tradition of music, with all events taking place on or near the town’s historic waterfront at South Quay and in the Saturday Market Place.
The day will begin with a guided walk of the hanseatic waterfront and there will be medieval market featuring silver work, jewellery and handblown glass, craft demonstrations, story telling and an archery tournament.
Music will be provided by the Hermitage Ensemble, local band Jessie’s Ghost, Paabel, Eplemoya Songlag and headline act Mediaeval Baebes.
Other activities include Medieval dance demonstrations in the Town Hall, a Hanse Car rally display, and street entertainers including fire breathers and minstrels.
On Sunday, May 18, the Mediaeval Market will continue on the South Quay and some of the town’s Hanseatic guests will also take part in the town’s annual civic service for the new Mayor.
Councillor Daubney, who is also the English commissioner for the Hanse League and a board member of the new Hanse Business Network, said: “Being a member of the modern Hanse is really important as it provides us with great opportunities to develop business and cultural links.
“Each year we celebrate International Hanse Day with our hanseatic colleagues to raise awareness of the town’s historic and current hanseatic links.
“This year we are combining Lynn’s tradition as a festival town with the Hanseatic tradition of music to bring a selection of musical performances from Russia, Estonia, Norway and England. We hope people will join us on the quayside to enjoy the ambience, visit the craft stalls, listen to the story telling and support local businesses.”
Further information and a full programme will be published, in due course, at www.visitwestnorfolk.com