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Community / Surprise for Girlsta jarl provides some much needed Up Helly Aa cheer

The hope is that Up Helly Aa will come back eventually: decorations outside Jonny Knight's home in Girlsta.

NESTING and Girlsta Up Helly Aa guizer jarl elect Jonny Knight got a bit of a surprise that cheered him up on the eve of his big day that isn’t to be this year.

Friends and fellow guizers went out last night (Thursday) to decorate the entrance to his house in Girlsta to give things a bit of an Up Helly Aa feel, including a dummy guizer jarl, a bill and the  mock-up of a galley and shields prepared by the children in the community.

“I have an idea who did this; the event this year obviously has been cancelled, so this cheered me up a bit,” the jarl said.

“We knew for a long time that Nesting and Girlsta Up Helly Aa wasn’t going to happen this year but today still is a bit of a strange day.

“It is a very big deal for the whole of the Nesting and Girlsta community; and it is not just about me and my squad, it’s a real miss for of us in the community here.”

Should circumstances allow, Knight will be the jarl in February next year, “or whenever that might be”, he added.

“It will come eventually and of course it is not the most important thing in the world just, but Shetland really misses it.”

Generally the hope is that at some point this year squads will be able to start socialising again and begin the long preparations for each of the many festivals.

For tonight though, Jonny will have to revert to Zoom to meet up with his squad and raise a glass to Up Helly Aa.

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