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.


13-15 Oct Inverness Street Festival
29-30 Oct Halloween Show
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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Headliners at this year’s Inverness Winter Festival Hogmanay celebrations are The Elephant Sessions, Scooty and The Skyhooks and multi-award winning folk-rock band 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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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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New appointment to Events and Festivals Working Group 

We are pleased to announce that Councillor Ian Brown has agreed to serve on the Inverness Events and Festivals Working Group

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Funding approved for 2017 programme 
Inverness councillors have given their continued support for a range of popular events and festivals that will take place in the city next year.

Members of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee have approved £320,000 Inverness Common Good Funding to enable the staging of the following events that are planned for 2017:
• Inverness Highland Games at Bught Park on 15 July
• Inverness Gala at Northern Meeting Park on 16 July
• Halloween Events at Ness Islands 28 – 29 October
• Fireworks Display and Bonfire at Bught Park on 4 November
• Christmas Lights switch on at the City Centre and “Ding Dong Merrily on High” at Old High Church on 19 November
• Winter Wonderland at Whin Park 15 -17 December
• Red Hot Highland Fling at Northern Meeting Park on 31 December.

Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area Cllr Helen Carmichael said: “The Events and Festivals Programme has helped to expand the tourism market in Inverness, particularly in the winter months particularly with the Red Hot Highland Fling which is a firmly established New Year / Hogmanay event in Scotland.

“I would like to thank the Events and Festivals Working Group and the Events Manager for their year-on-year work in delivering events in Inverness that entertain and delight tens of thousands of visitors annually.”

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World Championship Result 

Congratulations to Scott Rider of England on winning the World Championships at Halkirk Highland Games (30 August 2016). We are absolutely delighted for you.

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