The festival is made up of twelve squads - seven comprising men, and 5 comprising women. There are no mixed squads, and women don’t take part in the Jarl Squad, but there are Viking Princesses in the Jarl Squad.
During the day, the Jarl squad visits local schools before preparing for the evening festivities. Following the evening’s torchlit procession through the village, from Lovers Loan to Port Arthur and taking in Main Street and the West Shore, the galley is burnt at Scalloway Boating Club and set to sea once alight.
In Scalloway, tradition dictates that the following year’s Jarl squad builds the galley, while the previous year’s squad build the torches. The Jarl for that year does however choose the design for the galleys’ figure head - usually a dragon, but sometimes something else, depending on the Jarl; and its colours. Squads then visit five local halls: Bridge End, Hamnavoe, Tingwall, Scalloway Hall, Scalloway Legion and Scalloway Boating Club, for a night of acts, dancing, and fun.