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Community / Three cheers as Cullivoe Up Helly Aa goes online

Squad act videos, variety concert and virtual galley shed social evenings all planned

The Cullivoe jarl squad from 2020.

A SERIES of virtual events are being planned by the Cullivoe Up Helly Aa committee to mark what would have been the Yell festival’s weekend.

As with other fire festivals across Shetland, normal celebrations have been called off owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cullivoe Up Helly Aa usually takes place at the end February.

Its organising committee, however, is eager to ensure that the community is still offered some Up Helly Aa entertainment.

The evening of Friday 26 February will see selected squad acts from the history of the festival streamed online, with a virtual variety concert being held the following evening.

If coronavirus restrictions allow, the committee also intends to offer takeaway suppers – non-virtual – from the Cullivoe Hall on both days.

There are also plans to host virtual galley shed social evenings for the next four Saturdays via Zoom.

Details of these meetings will be shared on the Cullivoe Up Helly Aa Facebook page, with anyone welcome to join in.

Jarl-elect Steven Brown said: “I think it’s fair to say that everyone is really missing wir Up Helly Aa at this time o year – squad meetings, music sessions, galley building, and of course galley shed shenanigans, but most of all just meeting up wi friends and havin a fun.”

Vice-chair Brian Spence added: “Everything that we’re arranging is to ensure that people adhere to the ‘stay at home’ message – but still feel connected to Up Helly Aa at this time of year”.

“Our festival is all about the community, and we hope the plans we’re working on will put smiles on a few faces.”

Further details of ‘Cullivoe Up Helly Aa Online’ will be shared in the coming weeks.