INVERNESS SUMMER FESTIVALS PROGRAMME ANNOUNCED
The Highland Council has announced details of a significant expansion to this year’s Inverness Summer Festivals programme which is set to feature a number of additional events for locals and visitors to enjoy.
Making their debut this year will be the Inverness Jazz Festival (5 - 8 July); The Highland Trucker of the Year Ceremony (16 July); the Inverness Wheelbarrow Grand Prix, The Tipsy Tea Party, The Highland Haggis Hurling Championships (17 July); and the Croy Cartie Race (14 August).
The 3 month programme will open with the Inverness Jazz Festival which the organisers hope to establish as an annual event in the Highland capital; and this year’s festival will have a wide selection of music on offer with the emphasis on jazz, swing and blues.
To celebrate the return of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Golf Tournament at Castle Stuart Golf Club (7- 10 July); a warm welcome is planned in Inverness City centre where spectators will be able to enjoy an early evening Bunkers Festival (7 – 9 July). The Bunkers Festival is unique to Inverness in that the performers are encouraged to find the most unusual places to perform in order to create a real carnival atmosphere in the city centre and previous festivals have seen performers wandering in and out of pubs, restaurants, shops, whisky shops and tanning salons to the delight of spectators.
This year’s festival will create feature street performers, the Highland Salsa Band, the Fraser School of Highland Dance and members of the newly formed City of Inverness Pipe Band who will be making their debut on the major pipe band competition circuit this summer.
The Inverness Highland Games (16 July) and Inverness Gala (17 July) weekend at Bught Park looks set to be one of most exciting events ever staged by the Council’s Events Team. At over 700 metres long on Bught Road, the biggest attraction over the weekend will undoubtedly be TruckNess (16 - 17 July). This exhibition of vehicles by the local haulage industry was set to be cancelled following the retirement of its volunteer organisers; and now returns thanks to support from the Council’s Events Team. Previously staged at Bogbain Farm and Dores there are high hopes that the relocation of TruckNess to its new home as part of the Games and Gala Weekend will secure its future and enable it to become a showcase for local haulage companies for years to come.
On Saturday 16 the Bught Stadium will host the Inverness Highland Games which will feature almost 100 events and performances including the debut of the University Choir of Leuven (Belgium) and a special presentation to the latest inductees into the Inverness Highland Games Hall of Fame. It is planned to build a Funfair, Traders Village and Craft Fair at the Bught for the whole weekend;and in addition the area reserved for Saturday’s Armed Forces Village will become the venue for the Highlands Strongest Man and Highlands Strongest Women events the following day.
The trucks in the TruckNess Show will be displayed on Bught Road from Saturday morning until Noon on Sunday when there will be a final parade from the area following the presentation of awards. The noon departure is necessary to enable the staging of the first ever Inverness Wheelbarrow Grand Prix at 12:15; and to accommodate the return of the Inverness Harriers 10K Road Race in 2017.* Organised by Inverness Culloden Rotary Club; the Wheelbarrow Grand Prix will see pairs of competitors in fancy dress taking it in turns to see who can sit and push their way to victory. Further details and entry forms are now available at the official race website. www.invernesswheelbarrowgrandprix.com.
Following three of the most established events on the summer festivals calendar; the Black Isle Show (3 – 4 August); Belladrum (4 – 6 August); and the Highland Field Sports Fair at Moy (5 – 6 August); the tiny village of Croy will step forward to introduce an event which has the potential to become unmissable in years to come on August 14. Applications are now being taken for the Inaugural Croy Carties Race; and for those not familiar with the term ‘Cartie’; it is the Scottish name for a homemade racing machine. Croy Brae provides a perfect setting for Cartie, Bogie or Soapbox Derby Racing; and interested drivers can discover all they need to know at www.invernessfestivals.com.
Following the success of its 2015 debut, Groove Loch Ness returns at Dores (20 August) before the last Highland Games in Inverness area takes place when the Glenurquhart Highland takes place at Blairbeg Park in Drumnadrochit.
The Summer Festivals Programme will end in September with the Northern Meeting Piping Competitions at Eden Court (1 – 2 September); before the spectacular Highland Military Tattoo takes place at Fort George (9 - 11 September); and the Highland Capital’s oldest event the Kirking of the Council at the Old High Church takes place in Inverness City Centre (11 September).
Inverness Events and Festivals Working Group Chair Councillor Glynis Sinclair said: “As well as welcoming the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Golf Championship and the hugely popular TruckNess Show back to Inverness this summer; it is clear that the organisers of major events like the Inverness Highland Games, the Belladrum Music Festival and the Highland Military Tattoo are pushing their collective bars even higher this year. There is so much to look forward to and so much to discover.
“We are delighted to welcome brand new events like The Inverness Wheelbarrow Grand Prix and the Highland Haggis Hurling Championship into our programme; and we think that they are going to become firm favourites in the years ahead.”
Major General Seymour Monro CBE, Executive Chairman and Highland MilitaryTattoo Director said:
“It is terrific that so many exciting events are taking place in and around Inverness this summer and to see everybody working together to help each other. We are very enthusiastic about our collaboration and involvement with the other events. The Tattoo and the Kirking of the Council, coming at the end of the programme, will certainly provide a wonderful finale to this year’s Summer Festival.”
Provost Helen Carmichael added: “This year’s Inverness Summer Festival programme looks set to deliver a significant boost to our city’s economy while delivering some truly unforgettable experiences for both locals and visitors alike to enjoy. As Provost I am especially pleased to see so many community groups working together; and I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers of all ages who are helping the Council, the Committees and our city’s major event promoters provide us with so many opportunities to have fun while boosting our local economies.”
*The Inverness Harriers 10K Road Race is scheduled to return in 2017. Currently The Highland Council and Inverness Harriers are working with local business and community groups on a revised route for the race.
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