Monster Street Party

The monster is loose

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Curtain rises on Highland 2007 with Monster Street Party. Words: Allan Radcliffe

As the sun sets on another spectacular series of Hogmanay parties the length and breadth of the land, the January blues won’t bring determined party animals quite as low as usual. Highland 2007, Scotland’s yearlong celebration of Highland culture past, present and future, commences in style on Fri 12 Jan with a free event in Inverness marking an t-Seann Bhliadhn’ Ur, the Old New Year.

The Highland 2007 launch kicks off at 7pm with a display of fireworks by Pyro1, winners of the UK firework company of the year, continuing with a dramatic presentation against the backdrop of Inverness Castle by the award-winning Inverness Gaelic Choir. The event will also resound to the music of the Massed Pipes and Drums of the Highlands in a stunning arrangement overlooking the River Ness.

This opening bonanza is followed up by the Lifescan Monster Street Party, which features Transe Expresse from Marseilles performing an aerial ballet performance, The Music of Angels, as well as companies from Holland, France, Spain and England. Fri 12 January has been chosen for this event as it marks the end of the old year prior to the change to the Gregorian calendar in the eighteenth century. The date has a particular resonance across the Highlands and Islands to this day.

Major events confirmed for the year ahead include the Tulloch Inverness Highland Games, which comprises the World Highland Games Championships, the RBS International Tattoo, European Pipe Band Championships, The Highland Quest and the Six Cities Festival of Design. Sports fans can get stuck into such events as the Adventure Racing World Championship and the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships. Traditional music events will take place across the area including the Royal National Mod and Blas Festival. This year’s BAFTA Scotland awards will also be heading for the Highlands in November at the end of the Inverness Film Festival.

Clearly there is thriving cultural life beyond the central belt.

www.highland2007.com

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