Record breaking start to Inverness Winter Festival

Halloween at Ness Islands, Inverness
Halloween at Ness Islands, Inverness

The Inverness Winter Festival opened in record breaking fashion at the weekend with attendances at The Highland Council's free Halloween Show on Ness Islands more than doubling in size.

The previous record for the weekend of 12,000 was smashed on the first night when 18,104 spectators arrived to see the show which was based on the famous Halloween short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving; and the following night 8,028 enjoyed the show.

Provost and Leader of the City of Inverness and Area, Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “I am delighted that so many people turned out for the Halloween Show which is the first event in the Inverness Events and Festival’s winter programme. This reinforces the City of Inverness Area Committee’s commitment to support this programme through the Inverness Common Good Fund.”

The Halloween Show’s 1300m circuit around Ness Islands was transformed by projections and illuminations among the trees by Arts in Motion, Limelights and the Council's Lighting Department providing the perfect backdrop for the largest cast assembled in the history of the show.

Eden Court Creative brought together 180 young performers from across the Highlands to bring to life the ‘Headless Horseman’ and villagers who were trying to avoid him. The delight in the faces of spectators on both nights was plain for all to see.

Behind the scenes, the unexpectedly large turn out on Friday evening combined with busy nights at Inverness Leisure Centre and Inverness Ice Rink used up all the available parking spaces and temporarily brought traffic to a halt. Thankfully the Council's Events Team were able to get traffic moving again by opening an exit road through the West Link construction site; and the patience and understanding of the drivers and passengers on the opening night was much appreciated.

Councillor Glynis Sinclair Chair of the Inverness Events and Festivals Working Group said: “A massive great big thank you to all the families who attended the Halloween Show on Ness Islands. It is the support of the audience who make the organising of our Events worthwhile. It was brilliant to see so many adults and children participating by dressing up as zombies, ghosts, and ghouls. There were so many characters; I wasn't sure who was part of the Eden Court cast!

“The only thing we can't organise is the weather. Last year we had to postpone the Event because of flooding in Ness Islands - thank goodness we had absolutely perfect conditions, which made this show even more enjoyable.”

2 Nov 2015
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