Attention Lads and Lassies!

If you have an interest in Scottish culture or are looking for something unique and fun to do this spring, the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games is definitely worth the trip.

Learn all about Scotland's history and traditions while celebrating its rich culture in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the perfect location to feel as if you've traveled across the pond in a matter of hours.

This year, the 42nd annual Scottish Festival will be held on May 20th and 21st at the Townsend Visitor's Center in Townsend, Tennessee. Started in 1981, it stands as Tennessee's longest-running festival of its kind. With entertainment, delicious food, and competitions, there is something that will meet anyone's interests.

Scotland's History Connections to Tennessee

When you think of Scottish heritage, Tennessee may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Interestingly enough, one in five Tennesseans can trace their roots back to the Scots-Irish emigrants who settled in the eastern part of the state in the 18th century. According to the festival's website, its mission is to preserve this history and heritage by sharing traditional experiences with people all over, Scottish or not.

The Mountains are Alive With the Sound of Music

Sebastian Grochowicz/Unsplash
Sebastian Grochowicz/Unsplash

Of course, no celebration of Scotland would be complete without the unique sound of one of its most popular symbols, the bagpipes. With competitions for bagpipers, drummers, and full bands, guests can immerse themselves in the melodic sounds that date back to ancient times. Watching these musicians in action is so captivating on screen, I can't imagine the experience of hearing it live!

Move Over Thor, These Heavy Athletic Competitors Will Show You How It's Done

In ancient times, Highland warriors kept in shape for battle by competing with one another. They would sharpen their skills with everyday items such as stones, blacksmith hammers, and tree trunks. Nowadays, these items are used in heavy athletic competitions. Watch incredible displays of strength as competitors flex their warrior roots in 7 to 9 different events including heavy hammer throws, the caber (a long log) toss, and various distance throws using stones and weights.

Highland Dance Performances

After enjoying bagpipe tunes and hammer throwing, make sure to check out the highland dancing competition. Unlike any dancing you've ever seen, the highland dancers show off amazing skill and agility in bright costumes that will have you out of breath just watching.

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Non-Stop Live Entertainment

With three stages and a long lineup of performers, there will never be a quiet moment. From Celtic rock to folk music played by internationally known artists, there will be so much music to check out you won't know which stage to hit first.

Don't Forget your Wee Ones!

Kids age 15 and under have free admission to the festival so you won't even need a babysitter. There are plenty of activities for children including passports, crafts, and games. There is even an athletic competition for kids to take part in events such as the kilted mile, haggis hurl, tug-o-war, axe throw, and more.

If the games aren't enough to keep your kids busy, there is also a dog parade and sheep herding demonstration that will be lots of fun to watch.

Try a Taste of Scotland or Buy Your Own Kilt

In addition to the fun and interesting activities, there will be tons of vendors selling delicious food and traditional wares fitting. Enjoy some haggis or a meat pie while shopping around at the many booths selling Scottish and Celtic clothing, jewelry, sporrans (Scottish purses) and so much more.

How to Buy Tickets

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the festival's website. A two-day pass for an adult is only $30, which is an absolute deal for everything this festival has to offer. They also offer special packages with even more perks like souvenirs, VIP parking, and tickets for exclusive events.

The Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games definitely sound like an event that is fun for the whole family!

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