Inverness Fesitval website
The Highland Council’s Inverness Events and Festivals Working Group has unveiled its plans for the rest of this year, including the line-up for the Red Hot Highland Fling Hogmanay Party. It is also looking ahead to maximising the opportunities presented by Homecoming 2014 and the Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow in 2014.
The winter programme follows on from the success of hosting a wide range of major events this year, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Torch Relay, Highland Games/Armed Forces Day and the establishment of new comedy, cycling and football festivals.
- The Ness Islands Halloween Show “Haunted” - 26/27 October,
- The annual bonfire and fireworks display - 5 November,
- Remembrance Sunday – 11 November,
- Christmas Lights Switch on – 18 November,
- Rudolph’s Winter Wonderland -14-16 December,
- The Red Hot Highland Fling – Hogmanay.
The Red Hot Highland Fling on 31 December will once again be hosted by Craig Hill and the show will feature Big Country, supported by The Treacherous Orchestra, Skerryvore and The Whisky River Band.
Events and Festival Working Group Chairman Councillor Glynis Sinclair said: “We have enjoyed an incredibly busy and successful summer events and festival programme and now we are looking forward to another exciting winter programme. We are thrilled at attracting Big Country as our headline band and our MC Craig Hill will once again keep the crowds entertained with his distinctive brand of humour.”
Looking ahead to 2013, the Working Group has agreed that the Inverness Highland Games and the Armed Forces Day should be held on separate dates. The Armed Forces Day will take place on Saturday 29 June and the Highland Games on Saturday 20 July.
Looking ahead to 2014, the Working Group has encouraged local organisations to apply for funding towards events run to mark the Homecoming 2014 celebrations being organised by EventScotland.
One is to stage a second Highland Games in Inverness – in September - to mark and celebrate the unique status of the Northern Meeting Society’s former home as the oldest Highland Games venue in the world. It is intended to call the games the Northern Meeting Park Highland Games and it is hoped that this event will become an annual event of significant value in the shoulder months of the tourist season in Inverness.
The celebrations would start with the Northern Meeting Piping Competitions and Piping Festival and then the focus will switch to the Kirking of the Council weekend, which will also feature the staging of the Masters World Heavyweight Championships. This event, previously held in Inverness in 2006 and 2009, is estimated to have generated more than £2 million for the Highland economy to date.
Councillor Sinclair said: “The timing of the 2014 Masters World Championships is significant in the Homecoming 2014 calendar as it offers competitors and their families the opportunity to visit the Braemar Gathering the week before or the Ryder Cup two weeks later. It is expected that the championships will see the largest ever participation of European heavies as a result of the work that was undertaken during the visit to the Basque country in 2010.”
The Working Group is also keen to ensure that the Queen’s Baton Relay can feature at the Inverness Highland Games taking place on 19 July 2014 as it makes its way around Scotland to the opening ceremony in Glasgow.