Smoky Mountain Highland Games

Local Scots converge on Maryville, TN every year to hoist and toss such things as logs, stones, and even haggis, during the annual Scottish Festival and Games at Maryville College.

Smoky Mountain Highland GamesThe event has transformed over the years from a small local event in Gatlinburg to a sprawling festival on the campus of Maryville College in Maryville, TN. All Scots are invited for the opening night Scottish whiskey tasting on campus before participating in a weekend of Scottish music, athletic events, and Pipe Band performances.

On Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8:30 a.m., the Scottish Games will feature professional and amateur athletes competing in many different events including tossing the Scottish haggis, turning the caber, Highland wrestling and the manhood stones. Kids can event participate too during the scaled down kids games where they’re challenged to toss a smaller version of the caber, as well as haggis.

The Scottish dog parade and talent show usually follows a worship service and a massed bands/parade of tartans presentation on Sunday, which is open to anyone who purchases a ticket and brings their dog on a leash. Meanwhile, dancing, athletics, children’s activities, and various talks are going on throughout the day.

Bands like Cutthroat Shamrock, Colin Grant-Adams, and Thistledown Tinkers have provided entertainment over the years as well.

Each of the pipe and drum bands compete in individual and band events for prize money during the festival. Highland dancers from across the country compete as well. Each year more and more Scottish Clans are represented at the festival to assist guests in finding their Scottish heritage. Scots can find everything they need here with vendors offering such things as Scottish clothing to a sampling of Scottish foods.

For more information or the schedule of events for this year’s Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games, call 865-368-2543.

Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival

sidandridge1The Scots-Irish Music Festival in Dandridge is a yearly event that celebrates the Celtic heritage of the people that founded this area of Tennessee.  Bringing lots of music and entertainment to the mountain town of Dandridge, TN, this festival is a celebration of all things Celtic.  This is a free event mixes music, art, craft, history and a lot of fun into an all day festival of fun for the whole family.

Primarily, the Dandridge Scots-Irish festival is a celebration of the people and culture of the people that founded the towns in the mountains of the Southern Appalachians.  The Scottish and Irish peopl that immigrated to the area and settled in the mountains found a land that was very similar to the land they left, especially for the people that lived in the highlands of Scotland, the Dandridge area looked like home.  These people brought with them a history and culture that still influences the area to this day.  At the Scots-Irish Festival, the history of the Celtic people comes to life.  Scottish clans from around the area come and setup booths to help people learn more about their heritage and the places they came from.

sidandridge2And then there is the music.  Live entertainment is scheduled for the entire weekend.  From pipe and drum bands to bands specializing in Celtic rock and roll, there is something for everybody and a stage to entertain both the young and the old.  Along with the musical acts, the Scots-Irish Festival also brings in dancing.  Some of the best Highland dancers from around the region come to strut their stuff on various stages around the festival.   Here is a brief list of just some of the entertainers that were in attendance at the 2012 event in September:

  • Champion Highland ancer Claire MacMillan
  • Champion Irish Dancer Katie Carver
  • The Celtic Martins
  • Knoxville Pipes & Drums
  • Nashville Pipes and Drums
  • The O’Kennessee Strings
  • Thistletown Tinkers

Add to all of this action a craft and art show and you have a Saturday of fun in beautiful downtown Dandridge.  Great music, plenty of entertainment and all kinds of dancing a history abound at the Scots-Irish Festival.  Make sure that you plan to be there for the whole event and while they have not announced the date for next year yet, you can check their website and they will have that date up soon.  Stay in beautiful Dandridge, TN or maybe in one of the adjoining cities and have a great time will you enjoy the Scots-Irish Festival.