History was made when Provost Helen Carmichael became the first female Games Chieftain in the history of the Gathering, and the warm smiles and sustained applause from the packed grandstand as the spectators realised that they were witnessing something very special indeed got the proceedings off to the finest possible start.
The numbers taking part in the traditional Mass Highland Fling led by the Elizabeth Fraser School of Highland Dancing at the end of the opening ceremony were the largest and most enjoyable to date; with over 70 young dancers and around 100 soldiers from The Royal Regiment of Scotland based at Fort George; joined by numerous spectators from all over the world and a host of distinguished guests.
The Games featured one of the largest number of entries for the Track and Field athletics events for many a year; thanks to the support of the Inverness Harriers, who found their athletes facing competitors from all over the North of Scotland, France, England, Ireland and as far away as Australia and Fiji.
The Heavy events took place in front of a backdrop of wonderful entertainment which was provided throughout the day by members of the Inverness Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society; the Northern Constabulary Police Band, the Dingwall Royal British Legion Pipe Band and the Strathisla Pipe Band.
With a Canadian Film crew recording his every move for a Discovery Channel TV Documentary on the science of Highland Games; Sinclair Patience of Tain retained his Inverness Games Championship after a memorable struggle with John Macleod of Lochinver, David Hart of Fort William, Shaun and Jamie Gunn of Halkirk; and Brad Goldsmith (Virginia)and Paul Finn (New York) of the USA.
The Games ended with 252lb Stonemason’s Stone Challenge and to the delight of the crowd all of the heavies stepped forward to attempt it. After watching Goldsmith and Hart go agonisingly close to launching the Stone over the 5 foot bar; the day ended with the crowd going wild as Sinclair Patience achieved the feat for the 3rd year in a row. Roll on 2016!
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(Report by Gavin Laird)
A total of seven competitors gathered at Nothern Meeting Park for a day of sport in near perfect weather conditions. the events were Car Deadlift for reps, Sandbag Medley, Log Press for maximum, Conans wheel and Stones over Yoke.
1. Ben Thomson - 50 points.
2. Stewart Flett - 42 points
3. Shaun Hunter - - 40 points.
4. Larry Wood - 37 points
5. Mike Bickers 33 points
6. Dave Notman - 31 points
7. Ian Wood - 13 points (retired after 2 events)
A superb winning performance by Ben, taking first place in every event and showing a great blend of static strength, technical ability and fitness when moving with weight.
Shaun and Stewart both put in extremely solid performaces, tallying up a string of 2nd and 3rd places throughout the event and providing great entertainment for the crowd of over 600 spectators.
My thanks to our event staff John R Thomson, Karen Sutherland, and Luke Stoltman for all their assistance with time keeping, scoring and re-setting equipment between events, it was great to have Scotland Strongest Man and Scotlands Strongest Woman on hand to help out! Thanks also to our event sponsors Macrae and Dick Honda, Cerberus Strength, The Forge Gym, Scotts Larder and as ever to Gerry Reynolds and Inverness Festivals for their ongoing support of Strength Sports in the Highlands.
We'll see you next year for more spectacular action at the Highlands Strongest Man 2016!
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The Riverside Party in Huntly Street which was designed to appeal to Toddlers and the younger members of our community was well received; and we managed to capture this lovely shot of a youngster meeting Mini Mouse. Seeing hundreds of happy families having an enjoyable time on a sunny day was really pleasing; but perhaps more importantly we now have a clear understanding of what can - and can not - be staged successfully in this part of the city. Lots of encouragement and support from the locals who live and work on Huntly Street.
The second pilot event staged was Zombie-Ness and this event was designed to appeal to teenagers and families alike. The scale of the community creativity on display at this event is hard to explain in a few photographs; but special mention must go to the participants; and the folks working behind the scenes to transform them. It really was a lot of fun.
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One night, one stage, one helluva party - Scotland's most iconic festival location is being brought back to life with the launch of Groove Loch Ness.
Without doubt one of the most breathtaking sites for a festival anywhere on the planet, Loch Ness is set to welcome a selection of the hottest DJs to the UK’s newest dance festival on Saturday 22nd August 2015.
Headlining the first outing is world-famous Electronic duo GROOVE ARMADA in an exclusive Scottish Festival appearance. With a career spanning 20 years GROOVE ARMADA have established themselves as one of the planet’s best loved and biggest selling dance acts.
Pioneering Belgian brothers David & Stephen Dewaele better known under their stage name 2 Many DJs also on a Scottish Festival exclusive are set to bring their electrifying performance to the festival, having proved themselves to be firm favourites in clubs and festivals throughout the UK.
Other DJs to feature in the initial announcement include BBC Radio 1’s B.Traits, Subculture founders and residents Harri & Domenic from SUB CLUB, Glasgow’s world-renowned electronic music venue. Inverness’ own purveyors of all things underground house, techno and electro Filth DJ’s will be making an appearance and finally for the moment, kicking things off are the Highland’s newest clubnight Fugazy with further acts to be announced in the near future.
Groove Festival has been launched by four partners who have a long relationship working in the music industry throughout the Highlands of Scotland. Caroline Campbell (Director Ironworks Venue), Dougie Brown (Belladrum & Ironworks Venue), Sam Barker (Belladrum Festival) and Joe Gibbs (founder of Belladrum Festival & co-founder of Rockness).
‘We are really excited to be announcing the launch of Groove Loch Ness as the UK’s newest dance festival. Having listened to the feedback from both Highlands audiences and those further afield over recent years we feel now is the time to bring back a purely dance festival for Scotland.’
‘We have the most spectacular location for a festival, along with some legendary DJs and Scottish talent, and some surprises still to come, all we need now is the sunshine!’ Dougie Brown
Groove Loch Ness is a back to basics dance festival with one main stage with an initial capacity of approximately 5,000 and a strictly over 18’s policy.
Tickets go on sale at midday on Friday 10th April at 10am priced at £55 (+ booking fee) for Saturday day tickets and £75 (+ booking fee) for Saturday camping tickets.
Tickets available from – Web: www.skiddle.com, Phone: 0844 884 2920, or In Person: Ironworks Venue Inverness.
A selection of hi-res images and logos can be found from these links:
Groove Loch Ness Logos
For more information please contact:
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The hottest event in the Highlands returned with an explosive line-up who did a brilliant job keeping the estimated 10,000 plus crowd fired up throughout the full five hours the show.
Comedian Craig Hill had the crowd roaring with laughter as he introduced The Red Hot Chilli Pipers awith special guests Mànran and the Julie Fowlis Band.
At midnight all eyes turned in the direction of the Cathedral for a fantastic firework display before the Chillis return to lead the crowd in the singing of what must have been the best “Auld Lang Syne” that the Highlands have ever seen.
CHECK OUT OUR WEE FILM OF THE HOGMANAY SHOW BY CLICKING ON THE RELATED LINK BELOW THIS MESSAGE
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The show will featured a host of cartoon characters and the Highland Council's Lighting Department and Limelight Event Services transformed the park with spectacular illuminations for everyone to enjoy.
New for this year's show were free bounces on our Inflateable City and the chance for youngsters to try our Walk on Water Balls which were a huge hit and look set to become a regular part of future Wonderlands.
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