Launch of Inverness 2014 events and festivals programme

| February 28, 2014

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The Highland Council launched its 2014 Inverness Events and Festivals programme yesterday (27 February) and revealed its plans to celebrate “The Highland Homecoming (Tilleadh dhan Ghàidhealtachd)” which will be staged as part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations.

The Homecoming Highland Festival will run from 1 September to 31 October.  Highlights include the inaugural Inverness Highland Meeting (Cruinneachadh Gàidhealach Inbhir Nis) which will take place between 12-14 September and The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) between 12-18 October.

The Inverness Highland Meeting will feature “The Parade of the Highland Clans”, a torchlight procession through the streets of Inverness and an exhibition of clan memorabilia in Inverness Town House. The parade promises to be one of the most spectacular seen in the Highlands as joining the clans will be participants in a special Highland Games being staged to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Northern Meeting Park, the world’s oldest Highland Games stadium.

Previously held in Inverness in 2006 and 2009, The Masters World Championships (MWC2014) will be contested by a world record breaking 190 heavies from 13 countries. The event will be staged over three days at Bught Park and Northern Meeting Park and has been scheduled to allow the competitors and their families to attend the Camanachd Cup Final, the Blas Festival and the Kirking of the Council. It is planned that admission to MWC2014 will be free throughout the weekend.

Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival – The Royal National Mòd (Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail) – will take place at various locations in Inverness. Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, it is expected that more than 3,000 competitors will take part in the event, competing in a range of competitive disciplines including Gaelic music and song, Highland dancing, instrumental, drama, sport and literature. Amongst the activities planned with be a parade of competitors through Inverness to get proceedings underway and the traditional massed gathering of the Mod choirs on the final day. The final weekend will also see the International Shinty Hurling match between Scotland and Ireland at Bught Park and the staging of the 2014 Inverness BID Street Theatre Festival.

In addition to the Inverness Highland Meeting and Royal National Mod festivals, locals and visitors alike will have the opportunity to enjoy the Northern Meeting Piping Competitions (4-6 September), a Craft Festival (20-21 September), the Highland Traditional Strength Festival (21 September) and the Loch Ness Marathon (28 September).

The Highland Homecoming Festival will end with a special Homecoming Halloween event on Ness Islands (30-31 October) which will see ghosts from all the previous shows staged making a spectacular reappearance led by Blackbeard and his Pirates.

The 2014 Inverness Winter Festival will commence the following week with the Civic Bonfire and Firework Display (November 5) and will include the Christmas Light Switch On and Ding Dong Merrily Old High Carol Concert (November 23), Winter Wonderland (12-14 December) and will climax with The Red Hot Highland Fling Hogmanay Show (December 31). This year’s show will be hosted by comedian Craig Hill and will star The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Manran and the Julie Fowlis Band.

Provost of Inverness, Councillor Alex Graham, said: “2014 promises to be an exceptional year in the Highland capital, with the City’s well-established programme of events and festivals being enhanced with keynote events including the Inverness Highland Gathering, and the Royal National Mod. Local residents and visitors alike will all find something with appeal for them, and the large number of outdoor events will provide a real buzz for the city. The Homecoming will also provide a very welcome boost to the economy of Inverness and the wider Highlands.”

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Rodger is the owner of ScotClans.com. ScotClans is Scotland's largest clan resource funded via website retails sales. 'We are independent and represent the unofficial voice of the clans"

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