East Tennessee’s premier celebration of Scottish culture and history, the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival & Games, is moving to a new location at the Townsend Visitor Center (7906 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy) on May 21 and 22.
The celebration includes 57 clans and historical societies, nine entertainment bands, seven pipe and drum bands, 70 athletes, 22 merchandise vendors and seven food vendors.
Featuring local and national artists, the two-day festival offers multiple stages for music and historical, cultural and educational presentations. The Scotch Tasting Seminars feature a bit of history and humor and the Border Collie demonstrations are guaranteed to amaze onlookers with their herding abilities and intense gaze.
Competitions include hammer throwing or caber throwing, lively celebrations of male and female Highland dancers, a mix of bands including pipers and drummers, clan challenges like the kilt race, battle axes and the competition of the most beautiful knees.
“The Blount Partnership Board is working diligently with the festival this year to ensure attendees get the most out of their talented community,” said Kim Mitchell, Director of the Blount Partnership of Tourism. “I look forward to this festival every year and plan to attend several performances.”
Board member Keith Austin expects this year’s event to be the most successful yet.
“The Scottish Festival allows people of all ages to enjoy a culture they don’t normally immerse themselves in and pays homage to the Scottish Irish who settled in the hills of eastern Tennessee in the 18th century,” said said Austin. “It’s a highly anticipated event and we’re excited to be able to hold it in 2022 in a new, larger event space.”
Several pass options are available from $15 to $35 depending on the day and time. Festival-goers can save time and money by purchasing Early Bird tickets online before May 1. After this date, tickets will be available at the door on the day of the festival at full price.
First responders, seniors, veterans, active duty military and students will receive a discounted rate with ID and children under 16 are free.