Thanks for all the great feedback folks. We could not be happier with your reaction to our FREE Inverness Hogmanay celebrations starring Craig Hill, The Elephant Sessions, Scooty and The Skyhooks and Skerryvore with a special guest appearance by Stephanie Inglis.

The Winter Festival opened with the seventh Inverness Street Festival which took place over 3 days from 13 to 15 October and offered an exciting programme of top quality acts performing at various city centre venues.

The Highland’s biggest fancy dress event of the year, the city’s Ness Islands Halloween Show on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October; once again attracted 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 stretched for 1300 metres around two islands in the middle of the River Ness; and attracted visitors from all over the north of Scotland. This year’s show had a “Forest of Frights” theme and visitors found surprises and screams around every darkened corner.

The Grand Bonfire and Fireworks Display on November 5th attracted a huge crowd who loved our giant bonfire and thespectacular 20 minute musical fireworks display staged by the award winning display team from Fireworx Scotland.

The Christmas Lights Parade led by Santa Claus and Provost Helen Carmichael was a great deal of fun; and following the Switch On, spectators had a great time at the traditional Children’s Christmas Carol Concert “Ding Dong Merrily Old High”

Winter Wonderland event over the weekend of Friday 16 to Sunday 18 December was as popular as ever and featured an opportunity to meet Santa and his Reindeer in a beautifully illuminated Whin Park - with special mention going to our site decorating team led by Craig Duncan of Limelight Event Services. The Winter Wonderland show is one of the highlights of the Winter Festival for toddlers and the pictures in our gallery tells you all you need to know.

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."

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.

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An estimated 12,500 people attended 3 magical nights in Whin Park. They say a picture paints a thousand words so we will summarise what happened with the look on this little girl's face as she met Santa.

(You can find more pictures in our gallery)
If you missed it we hope you will make a note to join us for our 2017 Show which will be held over the weekend of 15-17 December 2017

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REVIEW Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Light Celebration (December 18) 
SCoJeC, the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, hosted a most enjoyable afternoon of Klezmer, Chanukah storytelling and latke eating at Green Drive Hall on Sunday 18 December to celebrate Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Light.
The event featured Michael Alpert, award-winning klezmer multi-instrumentalist, and Edinburgh fiddle player Gica Loening. As soon as we get the date for their 2017 event - we will let you know. For more info contact Joanne Gabbay, tel 077245 49817, email

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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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