The Highland 2007 on 12 January 2007

The Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party events taking place in Inverness on 12 January 2007. Marking an t-Seann Bhliadhn’ Ùr, the Old New Year, the Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party is the first major event in the programme for Highland 2007, the year Scotland celebrates Highland culture.

The Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party are open – and free – to everyone, providing family entertainment from 7pm until 10pm on 12 January 2007.

The first part of the evening, the Highland 2007 Launch, will commence at 7pm with First Minister Jack McConnell guest of honour at the celebrations. The event will feature:

* a dazzling display of fireworks by Pyro1, winners of the UK firework company of the year;
* the award winning Inverness Gaelic Choir in a dramatic presentation against the backdrop of Inverness Castle;
* the Massed Pipes and Drums of the Highlands in a stunning arrangement overlooking the River Ness;
* many other spectacular surprises!

Viewing areas for the Highland 2007 Launch event are situated on the west bank of the River Ness on Huntly Street, Ness Walk and Young Street. Those attending the Highland 2007 Launch are advised to access the viewing areas from the west where possible and to allow sufficient time to travel to the event.

Monster Street Party

The Lifescan Monster Street Party follows immediately after the Highland 2007 Launch event and features the thrilling Transe Expresse from Marseilles. The highlight of their performance will be a breathtaking aerial ballet performance – The Music of Angels – which will include an extraordinary rendition of the Mingulay Boat Song.

As the home of Nessie, the world’s most famous monster, the Highland capital will welcome a host of monster cousins to the Lifescan Monster Street Party. Weird and wonderful creatures of all shapes and sizes from far and wide will travel to Inverness to excite and enthrall their Highland audience. Over a dozen companies from Holland, France, Spain and England will provide entertainment in the main streets of the city centre which will all be closed to traffic. This will be one of the biggest gatherings of international street theatre ever seen in the UK.

The launch and the street party have been created and devised by Unique Events, producers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and many of Scotland’s major festival programmes.

As a result of the Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party there will be a number of road closures in Inverness city centre on 12 January, coming into effect at 6.30pm. The road closures will create a safe, vehicle free, public area in the city centre.

Public car parks will remain open for the event on both sides of the river. All motorists are advised to allow sufficient travel time and to be aware the city centre roads will be closed to vehicles from 6.30pm.

Temporary bus stops and taxi ranks will be situated on Academy Street and Millburn Road for the duration of the event closures (please check with local bus companies for details).

Full details of all road closures and parking restrictions can be found on below.

The Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party are outdoor events – please dress for the weather.

Councillor Alison Magee, chair of Highland 2007, said: “Highland 2007 represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise awareness of our culture not just here in the Highlands but across Scotland, the UK and beyond. The exciting programme for the Highland 2007 Launch and the Lifescan Monster Street Party sets the tone for the year ahead, combining elements of our traditional culture with contemporary influences as we showcase the cultural importance of the Highlands on a international stage.”

Pete Irvine of Unique Events said: “It’s a real pleasure and privilege to be involved at the beginning of this brilliant year for the Highlands and Islands. It’s also a challenge. We know a wee wind can blow down the Ness and though most of what we plan can go ahead in almost any weather, we would advise people to wrap up well. When we planned this event we did think of Hogmanay or even later in the spring but we wanted this to be a very significant night unaffected by anything anywhere else and at the very beginning of a year where there is so much happening. Of course we wanted to invite Nessie him/herself but it proved impossible to make contact. However all the other monsters were delighted to accept our invitations. It’s going to be a ball and a real night to remember.”

Michael Crowe, Managing Director of Lifescan said: “This is going to be an amazing event and LifeScan Scotland is proud to be associated with such an innovative and creative show. This is a really exciting time for Inverness and the Highlands and we will be continuing our support throughout 2007.”

David Williams, Chief Executive of EventScotland said: “The launch of Highland 2007 provides a terrific platform for the celebration of Highland culture and for Scotland’s reputation as a premier events destination. Our investment of £1.76 million in the year long celebration is helping to deliver a programme of events that will help to promote Highland and Scottish culture."

The Highland 2007 Launch and Lifescan Monster Street Party was made possible through funding from EventScotland and Lifescan (Scotland).