Launch of Inverness Winter Festival Programme (10/10/13)

Comedian Craig Hill is pictured with characters who will be featuring in the Winter Festival

The Highland Council has announced details of the programme for this year’s free Inverness Hogmanay Party as the 2013 Inverness Winter Festivals programme got underway today (Thursday) with the start of the three day Inverness Street Theatre Festival.

The Hogmanay celebrations will commence in mid-afternoon with children’s event The Wee Hot Highland Fling before Comedian Craig Hill takes to the stage at Northern Meeting Park Arena to host a free four-hour show which will be headlined by The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Since they won the UK primetime TV talent show, 'When Will I Be Famous' in 2007, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have become a global phenomenon with their unique fusion of rocked up Bagpipes and covers of popular songs from all genres.  The Northern Meeting Park show will commence at 8:30pm and the Inverness based all-female indie-pop band Dorec-a-belle have been given the honour of getting proceedings underway. Taking the crowd into 2014 will be multi-award winning folk-rock band Skerryvore. 

Following the Inverness Street Theatre Festival, the Winter Festival will see one of the biggest fancy dress events staged in the Scotland as Ness Islands plays host to the city’s Halloween Show. Since the event was first staged in 2009, the Ness Islands children’s show has not only inspired hundreds of families to dress up each year in order to help the Highland Council scare away an annual invasion of ghosts, beasties and unmentionables; it has also been adopted by the city’s revellers as the perfect excuse to create a spectacular Halloween Carnival in the pubs, clubs and streets of the Highland Capital. 

This year’s show is called “Ghost Train” and will be staged on Friday October 25th and Saturday October 26th from 6.30pm - 8.30pm.  Created by The Highland Council’s Lighting Team, Arts in Motion, Eden Court Creative and Fly Agaric; the show will invite families to discover what can go wrong when a Ghost Train breaks down and the Fat Controller is too afraid to come out in the dark.

On Tuesday 5 November another large crowd is expected to gather in Bught Park when the spectacular 2013 City of Inverness Grand Bonfire and Fireworks Display is staged. This year’s show will start at 19:30 and will start with the judging of the annual Guy Competition which is contested by children from local primary schools. The winners of the 2012 competition from Kirkhill Primary School will get the honour of creating the Guy who will be placed on top of the giant 40 foot tall bonfire; and it will be interesting to see if they can successfully defend their title this year. This year’s 20 minute musical fireworks display will be staged by the award winning display team from Fireworx Scotland.  

On Sunday 17 November, the Countdown to Christmas gets underway when Santa Claus arrives in town to help Provost Alex Graham turn on the Christmas Lights at 6 pm. Following the Switch On Ceremony, spectators are invited to join Santa and the Provost for the traditional Children’s Christmas Carol Concert “Ding Dong Merrily Old High” which starts at 6:30 pm.

The popular Winter Wonderland event will take place over the weekend of Friday 13 - Sunday 15 December. Featuring an opportunity to meet Santa and his Reindeer in a beautifully illuminated Whin Park, the Winter Wonderland show is always popular with the younger members of the Inverness Community and is one of the highlights of the Winter Festival for toddlers.

Provost Alex Graham said “Once again Inverness has an excellent Winter Festival programme where everyone in our growing City will find something to attract them. From the Street Theatre Festival onwards  there is a wide range of exciting events to  brighten up the City as winter draws in, culminating in an exciting and vibrant Hogmanay celebration with an exceptionally strong line-up of bands in the Northern Meeting Park. As well as being enjoyed by local residents, the Winter Festival helps draw additional visitors to our City and give our local economy a significant boost.”


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