What to Expect at this Weekend’s Viking Reenactment
The Vikings are coming to Chinook Honey for Horde at the Hive.
Warren Cummins is an event coordinator at re-enactment group The Vikings Vinland, but on June 27 and 28, he will prefer to be known as The Hertog. Along with a few dozen or so of his fellow warriors, this weekend Cummins will land at Okotoks meadery Chinook Honey for Horde at the Hive. The free event is a living-history portrayal of a Viking village. Here’s what to expect from this faux Scandinavian settlement.
It’s not like in the movies
One of the reasons Cummins’ chapter of The Vikings Vinland decided to plan Horde at the Hive was to debunk myths associated with Viking culture that have often been perpetuated by pop culture. “Often times, there’s a common misconception about who the Vikings were in reality,” says Cummins. “Our first and foremost priority within our organization and when dealing with the public is to present an educated front.”
There will be battles…
The Vikings Vinland strive to recreate Viking battles, which include one-on-one and formation fights, as accurately as possible. They do so by elaborately training their members before they take part in a battle in front of the public. All of their weapons are real – but blunted so they are not sharp – and with the exception of helmets, they wear minimal protective gear in an effort to make the scene appear as realistic as possible.
…but no blood
Though they do re-enact battles (but not specific ones, to note), Cummins’ group has no intention of glorifying the violence. However, the members do want to stay true to the way of life at the time. “We want people to understand that it was real and it could cause problems, so it’s an education,” explains Cummins. He adds that they also balance the narration with some humour to show people they’re having fun with the whole thing.
Crafts, clothing and more for kids
In addition to fight demonstrations, there’s lot more to see and do at Horde at the Hive. Weaponry, armoury and crafting will be on display. A fashion show of the traditional clothing will take place and kids will be invited to fight the Vikings using pool noodles. Kids also tend to ask the best questions, notes Cummins, using that opportunity to enforce the fact that this is an interactive event – the group will fully be engaged with the public.
A trip to the first commercial meadery in Alberta
The event of course takes place at Chinook Honey, a small honeybee apiary in Okotoks. For several years, Vikings Vinland members have been buying the meadery’s products, and doing tastings of the mead at events of theirs including the Foothills Highland Games. Art and Cherie Andrews, the owners of Chinook Honey, have been encouraging the group to hold an event on their property for quite a while now.
Horde at the Hive takes place June 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and June 28, noon to 5 p.m. at Chinook Honey in Okotoks. Admission is free. For more information and directions to Chinook Honey, visit chinookhoney.com.