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Community / Cullivoe to party despite usual Up Helly Aa being postponed again

AN ALTERNATIVE event is being planned by the Cullivoe Up Helly Aa committee next year after the Covid pandemic again ruled out its usual festival.

The Raven Banner Ball will take place across the last weekend of February.

The committee said community visits to school bairns and old folk were still not certain to be allowed come Up Helly Aa time.

This means the usual festival has again been postponed, this time to 2023.

It is envisaged that the Raven Banner Ball will include some of the traditional hallmarks of a Cullivoe Up Helly Aa weekend, taking into account national Covid restrictions and local case numbers at the time.

Jarl-elect Steven Brown said: “My time as jarl is on hold for another year, but all festivities have not been shelved – and I look forward to celebrating The Raven Banner Ball weekend instead.

“Rest assured, plans for that event will be announced soon – and held in true Yell style next year.

“We all look forward to some normality again, and the chance to return to our full Up Helly Aa experience, but it’s important to still give our close-knit community the chance to safely come together – and celebrate everything that makes this place so special.

“Three cheers for the Raven Banner Ball!”

The festival’s organising committee said it wants to make sure that the community has something to work towards together through the winter months, and something to celebrate during Up Helly Aa season.

The last Cullivoe Up Helly Aa took place in 2020, shortly before the pandemic took hold.

All Up Helly Aa festivals were called off in 2021.