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Inverness is an important centre for bagpipe players and lovers, since every September the city hosts the Northern Meeting, the most prestigious solo piping competition in the world. The Inverness cape, a garment worn in the rain by pipers the world over, is not necessarily made in Inverness.
Another major event in calendar is the annual City of Inverness Highland Games. In 2006 Inverness hosted Scotland's biggest ever Highland Games over two days in July, featuring the Masters' World Championships, the showcase event for heavies aged over 40 years. 2006 was the first year that the Masters' World Championships had been held outside the United States, and it attracted many top heavies from around the world to the Inverness area.
The current music scene within Inverness generally leans towards an emo/punk/hardcore style, but there are also bands who show features of different genres such as rock, metal, pop, classical, grunge, industrial and traditional Scottish music. The Ironworks venue has attracted a greater variety of music to Inverness.
Inverness is home to two summer music festivals, Rockness and the Tartan Heart Festival, that bring a variety of different music to the town.
The city is home to two football clubs. Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C. was formed in 1994 from the merger of two Highland League clubs, Caledonian F.C. and Inverness Thistle. "Caley Thistle" of the Scottish First Division plays at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium and lays claim to have the longest name for any football club in the world. The town's second football club, Clachnacuddin F.C., plays in the Highland League. Inverness Citadel F.C. was another popular side which became defunct, but had its name revived.
Highland RFC is the local rugby union club that competes regularly in the Scottish Hydro Electric National Leagues division two.
Inverness Blitz is a charity that promotes the development of American football in Inverness and the surrounding area. Bught Park, located in the centre of Inverness is the finishing point of the annual Loch Ness Marathon and home of Inverness Shinty Club.
Cricket is also played in Inverness, with both Highland CC and Northern Counties playing in the North of Scotland Cricket Association League and 7 welfare league teams playing midweek cricket at Fraser Park. Both teams have been very successful over the years. Highland joined the league in 1957 and won its first league title in 2002 and recaptured the title in 2007.
In 2007, the city hosted Highland 2007, a celebration of the culture of the Highlands, and will also host the World Highland Games Heavy Championships (21 & 22 July) and European Pipe Band Championships (28 July). 2008 saw the first Hi-Ex (Highlands International Comics Expo), held at the Eden Court Theatre.
Inverness is the location of Macbeth's castle in Shakespeare's play.
St. Andrew's Cathedral on the banks of the River NessImportant buildings in Inverness include Inverness Castle, Inverness College and various churches.
The castle was built in 1835 on the site of its medieval predecessor. It is now a sheriff court.
Inverness Cathedral, dedicated to St Andrew, is a cathedral of the Scottish Episcopal Church and seat of the ordinary of the Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness. The cathedral has a curiously square-topped look to its spires, as funds ran out before they could be completed.
The oldest church is the Old High Church, on St Michael's Mount by the riverside, a site perhaps used for worship since Celtic times. The church tower dates from mediaeval times, making it the oldest surviving building in Inverness. It is used by the Church of Scotland congregation of Old High St Stephen's, Inverness, and it is the venue for the annual Kirking of the Council, which is attended by local councillors.
Inverness College is the hub campus for the UHI Millennium Institute.
Porterfield Prison, officially HMP Inverness, serves the courts of the Highlands, Western Isles, Orkney Isles and Moray, providing secure custody for all remand prisoners and short term adult prisoners, both male and female (segregated).