A military show dubbed the ‘Tattoo of the Highlands’ drew larger crowds than 2016 with ticket sales described as ‘most encouraging’ by organisers.

Now in its fourth year, the Highland Military Tattoo at Fort George in Inverness put on numbers compared to last year as interest grows in the tattoo concept in the Highlands.

The event, supported by EventScotland and VisitScotland, took place at the weekend and celebrated the 75th anniversary of the RAF Regiment as its special theme.

Taking place in the Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology, the event featured an aerial display by an SE5A biplane, a fighter aircraft of the First World War, to mark the start of the show.

The main event featured Pipes and Drums, Highland Dancers, armed forces competitions, youth performers, musical interludes and a static display of a WW1 Sopwith Camel and a Spitfire.

The Queen’s Colour Squadron proved to be one of the star attractions, performing drills with military precision, not only at all four performances but also in Elgin High Street on Friday.

The Tattoo showcases the best of Highland and military culture and traditions. Set against the backdrop of Fort George, the largest military fort in the UK and produced by Major Bruce Hitchings, the Tattoo brings together top military performers, talented young local performers and some of the world’s finest re-enactors.

A fireworks display marked the end of the performances and was concluded with a solo performance from the young, lone piper, Archie Drennan.

Spectators made the most of the Food and Drink Village both in advance of the event and then again after, with many staying to enjoy wine and whisky tastings at The Highlanders Museum.

The Board said it was ‘delighted to announce improved ticket sales on the 2016 event, which draws visitors into the area, and wishes to thank supporters, sponsors and all those who have worked extremely hard to bring this successful event to the Highlands of Scotland.’

Major General Seymour Monro, Tattoo Director, said: ”’Even better than last year; awesome; superb,’ are just some of the many positive comments I have heard from so many people.

“It is amazing what our performers achieve with so little rehearsal time. I am very proud of them and of our production team. The Catering and Retail Village was again buzzing. We have sold more tickets than last year, which is most encouraging. I am also most grateful to our sponsors – and we would always welcome more to support this great Highland cultural event which brings so much pleasure to so many people band tremendous benefits to the local area.”

This year’s event was supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: ‘This year’s Highland Military Tattoo has once again proven to be a successful event, attracting thousands of spectators to Fort George to witness some of the best military performers and acts both nationally and from around the world. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and following this wonderful celebration of Scotland’s military and cultural heritage, thoughts will already be turning towards next year’s Tattoo.”