A MASSIVE military tattoo is returning to the Highlands – and will be the largest hosted outside Edinburgh.
The largest military fort in the UK is to be the spectacular setting for a new Highland Military Tattoo, being staged as part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.
It will take place at Fort George, near Inverness, from 5-7 September.
Detailed planning is already underway for this new addition to the Highland tourism calendar.
The Inverness Tattoo ended three years ago due to the increasing demands on the slimmed down armed forces.
More than six thousand people are expected to attend the tattoo which will run for three nights.
Highland Military Tattoo Director, Major General Seymour Monro said: “This year’s tattoo is shaping up to be a spectacular event with acts from far and wide gathering against the stunning backdrop of Fort George.
“We are also bringing together many local organisations, with a focus on young performers who will be showcasing their considerable talents.
“The tattoo has been held at Fort George before as part of the Highland Year of Culture in 2007 and was a resounding success.
“We’re sure this year’s event will be an even bigger attraction and will become an annual must-see event for the Highlands and Moray.”
Bringing together a mix of local, military and international acts, the Tattoo will showcase to visitors and local people alike the best of traditional and contemporary Highland culture from fiddlers to pipe bands, Highland dancers to Gaelic singers.
Starting with the RAF Typhoon fly past, this will be a memorable evening, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display in the unforgettable setting of Fort George.
Fort George is one of the finest examples of 18th century military engineering in Britain.
Begun in 1747 in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, the Fort was built to prevent another Jacobite uprising in the Highlands. It later became a recruiting base and training camp for the British Army and was the home of the Seaforth Highlanders and later the Queen’s Own Highlanders between 1881 and 1964.
Following on from the success of previous tattoos held in the Northern Meeting Park this year’s spectacle will be staged on a larger scale and is planned to become an annual event.
Producer Major Bruce Hitchings is a former Pipe Major of the Queen’s Own Highlanders who has played regularly at the Edinburgh Tattoo. He has most recently produced the Las Vegas Tattoo in the USA.
The Highland Military Tattoo forms part of Highland Homecoming 2014, a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.
Support for the event has come from Event Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Inverness Common Good Fund and Highland Council.