Looking ahead - Diary Dates 
Welcome to the Inverness Festivals News Page

First of all thanks for all the wonderful messages of support which you sent in following our the launch of our Wnter Festival Supplement

Below you will find our updated list of Winter 2016 events; and don't forget to visit our Events Listings Page where you will find the latest details in the What's On Section which is edited and updated every day by our friends at the Inverness City Advertiser.


5 Nov Farmers Market
5 Nov Bonfire and Fireworks Display
11 Nov Winter Fashion Show
20 Nov Santa’s Arrival with Reindeer
20 Nov-23 Dec Santa’s Grotto
20 Nov Christmas Lights Parade
20 Nov Ding Dong Merrily Old High
3 Dec Farmers Market
16,17 & 18 Dec Winter Wonderland
17 Dec Farmers Market
31 Dec Red Hot Highland Fling

For further information please contact:
The Inverness Festivals Team
c/o Gerry Reynolds (Inverness Events Manager) 01463 785006
Email: gerry.reynolds@highland.gov.uk

NEWFLASH - Have a look at this wonderful video which has been produced by the City Marketing Group. Nice job folks - we love it!

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Now in progress - 2016 WINTER FESTIVAL  
Headliners at this year’s FREE Inverness Winter Festival Hogmanay celebrations are The Elephant Sessions, Scooty and The Skyhooks and Skerryvore. Skerryvore won the Greentrax Recording’s Live Act of the Year at the Scot Trad Music awards and will be coming to Inverness off the back of their Decade celebrations and a string of sell-out shows around the US and Europe.

20.00 Gates open
20.45 - 21.35 Elephant Sessions
21.50 - 23.00 Scooty & the Skyhooks
23.20 - 00.30 Skerryvore

The Highland Council has announced details of its programme for the Inverness Winter Festival which will climax with The Red Hot Highland Fling in Northern Meeting Park Arena on Hogmanay.

The Hogmanay celebrations will start at 8.30pm when Comedian Craig Hill will take to the stage to introduce the acts. No tickets are required for this free event.

Patrons attending the Red Hot Highland Fling are reminded that no alcohol can be brought into Northern Meeting Park Arena and bag and body searches will be in operation throughout the evening. Disabled Parking will be available for Blue Badge Holders only and will be located at the front of the Highland Council HQ in Glenurquhart Road.

The Winter Festival will open with the seventh Inverness Street Festival which will take place over 3 days from 13 to 15 October with an exciting programme of top quality acts performing at city centre venues.

The Highland’s biggest fancy dress event of the year, the city’s Ness Islands Halloween Show will be staged on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October; and once again hundreds of families are expected to dress up their children in order to help the Council scare away the annual invasion of ghosts, beasties and unmentionables which gather on the banks for the River Ness every Halloween.

Created by Council in partnership Eden Court Creative, Arts in Motion and Limelight Event Services; the show stretches for 1300 metres around two islands in the middle of the River Ness; and attracts visitors from all over the north of Scotland. This year’s show has a “Forest of Frights” theme and visitors can expect to find surprises and screams around every darkened corner. Saturday’s show will commence at 6.30pm and Sunday’s Show at 5.30pm.

On Saturday 5 November another large crowd is expected to gather in Bught Park as the City of Inverness Grand Bonfire and Fireworks Display is staged. This year’s show will start at 7:30pm with the lighting of the giant bonfire. This will be followed by a spectacular 20 minute musical fireworks display staged by the award winning display team from Fireworx Scotland.

On Sunday 20 November the Countdown to Christmas gets underway when a Christmas Lights Parade led by Santa Claus arrives to help Provost Helen Carmichael turn on the Christmas Lights at 6pm. Following the Switch On, 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 6:30pm.

The popular Winter Wonderland event will take place over the weekend of Friday 16 to Sunday 18 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 Helen Carmichael said: “Since our Winter Festival was launched at the end of 2008; it has made a significant contribution towards making Inverness a more enjoyable place to live and provided a significant boost to the local economy by attracting visitors from far and wide to our city. It is wonderful to see just how much enjoyment each of our events generates and to see how much they are appreciated by everybody.

“Every time thousands of spectators decide to wrap up warmly, gather together and have a great time; it makes months of effort seem worthwhile. As I am sure everyone appreciates it takes more than a little talent, dedication and imagination to bring outdoor venues like Ness Islands, Whin Park and even the Council HQ Car Park to life on the coldest and darkest of nights.

“From the BID Street Festival to our much loved Hogmanay Show, I hope that everybody will get a great deal of pleasure experiencing what Inverness has to offer as 2016 comes to a memorable close.”

Our Sponsors

The Inverness Common Good fund sponsored Inverness Winter Festival is part of the Inverness Festivals programme. Sponsored by the Inverness Common Good Fund; the programme is organised by the Council and its partners in the Inverness Events and Festivals Working Group.

The Working Group receives much appreciated support behind the scenes from a whole host of partners and businesses based here in the Highlands including Inverness BID, VisitScotland, High Life Highland, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Inverness Loch Ness Tourism BID, Eden Court Theatre, Scottish Provincial Press and the Inverness Hotel Association.

For further information on the bands please see:

Skerryvore: http://skerryvore.com/band/
Elephant Sessions http://elephantsessions.com/about/
Scooty and the Skyhooks: https://www.facebook.com/scootyskyhooks/

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Huge thanks to everybody who turned out to take part in - or watch -the Christmas Lights Torchlight Procession and Ding Dong Merrily Old High.

Big thanks also to the Provost and Santa; everybody at the Old High Church and Crown Primary School; Nicola McAlley and Steve Kelly; Mascot Madness and the City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band; Fly Agaric and Faceless; Limelight Event Services and the British Red Cross; Police Scotland and Securigroup; and last, but not least, Inverness Military Wives Choir and the Council's Lighting team for doing such a great job of bringing some Christmas magic to the streets of Inverness.

Special thanks to Mike Mcleod and MFR Cash for Kids for looking after the torches and ensuring nobody set themselves alight in order to get warm.

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Review - Civic Bonfire and Fireworks Display 
On Saturday 5 November an estimated 20000 gathered on the Riverside and in Bught Park to enjoy the Bonfire and Fireworks Display.

This year’s show started with a findraising Firewalk for the MS Therapy Centre,

entertainment by Mascot Madness, the Fly Agaric Fire Display Team and the City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band; before Provost Helen Carmichael stepped forward to light the magnificent bonfire.

This was followed by a spectacular 20 minute musical fireworks display staged by the award winning display team from Fireworx Scotland to a musical theme of Disney tunes.

It was a wonderful event from start to finish and once again special thanks must go to everybody who turned out to create such a wonderful atmosphere.

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The “Forest of Frights” Halloween Show at Ness Islands attracted an estimated crowd of 20,000 to Ness Islands on Oct 29th and 30th; and was a huge success both creatively and operationally.

Designed by Eden Court Creative, Arts in Motion and Limelight Event Services; this year's 1300 metre journey around Ness Islands featured an assortment of imaginative and suitably spooky performances and projections which delighted the spectators in attendance; many of who arrived suitably dress to chill.

Behind the scenes the move to a Saturday Sunday show enabled the Events Team to deliver this huge event without causing problems to the operation of Inverness Leisure Centre and Inverness Ice Rink; or disruption for the residents of nearby Ballifeary. With families responding to appeals not to bring their cars to the event; and entering the Islands from both sides of the river; the traffic management plan in operation was able to cope with two visits to the Bught by the Emergency Services during the duration of the show.

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The 2016 Kirking of the Council at the Old High Church featured representatives from a number of local schools and organisations; and we were delighted to welcome visitors from our twin city in Ausburg in Germany.

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