Fire jugglers and grey-haired grannies riding giant high-speed shopping trolleys brought parts of Inverness to a halt yesterday for a fun-packed start to a winter season of festivals.
Hundreds of smiling city folk watched in awe as a host of specialist acts grabbed the attention at four locations including the High Street and Falcon Square on the first of three days of the seventh Inverness Street Festival.
Many revellers grabbed the chance of selfies with top acts at the feel-good event including the popular Granny Turismo dance team.
A full programme of entertainment is lined up for the Highland capital running well into the New Year.
Mike Smith of the city’s Bid business initiative said: “We’ve had a fantastic first day. We’ve had a really good crowd at all four venues.
“Inverness has certainly warmed to the artists, who are top notch. There’s a real buzz about the city centre.”
The entertainment is free over the next two days but a big money-spinner for Inverness, acting as a magnet for scores of additional visitors from across Scotland, according to city leaders.
A previous survey revealed that 91% of people drawn to the festival were there specifically to see such fun and games.
The street event is jointly funded by the city’s business improvement district (Bid) initiative, the Eastgate and the Inverness common good fund.
Next up is the Highlands’ biggest fancy dress event of the year, the Ness Islands Halloween Show on October 29 and 30.
Created jointly by the council, the Eden Court Creative, Arts in Motion and Limelight Event Services, the show will encompass two islands in the middle of the River Ness and is expected to draw visitors from across the north.
The show has a “Forest of Frights” theme beginning at 6.30pm on the Saturday and 5.30pm on the Sunday.
Another huge crowd is likely for a fireworks night bonanza from 7.30pm at Bught Park.
Headliners for the Hogmanay celebrations are The Elephant Sessions, Scooty and The Skyhooks and multi award winning folk-rock band Skerryvore with top Scots comic Craig Hill hosting the big night.