If you’re interested in Scottish history and culture, the 2009 Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games is the place to be. From the Kilted Mile to the history of the tartan, this festival is all about all things Scottish. This year, the 28th games will be held May 15-17 at Mills Park, Gatlinburg Tennessee, and you need to be there.
Check out the activities and the pageantry this Scottish festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee has to offer, and take home many years’ worth of memories. The weekend starts out with an easy Smoky Mountain stroll, then the Knoxville Pipes and Drums lead a parade down the Gatlinburg Parkway at 6pm on Friday evening. If you’re a Scot, you’re invited to ride the trolley or march in the parade.
After the parade, there will be a Gala Reception at 8pm. Located at the Quality Inn Creekside, this sit-down buffet is a great place to wear your best Scottish gear, see some great entertainment, and win door prizes.
On Saturday and Sunday, you’ll get to participate in an all day Scottish music festival, called a Ceilidh, as well as Scottish athletic events (both professional and amateur), and a Highland Dance competition. Pipers will be happy to participate in the Piper and Pipe Band performances and competition, and the rest of us will be happy to watch and listen. Expect to see well known musicians, including Coyote-Run, Cutthroat Shamrock, Colin Grant-Adams and Rathkeltair throughout the day and at the Saturday night Ceilidh Under the Stars, starting at 7:30 pm.
Kids won’t feel left out, either. There’s scaled down caber tossing for the little ones, as well as Toss the Haggis and a Saturday children’s parade. The Kid’s Kastle is a big favorite, too. Adults will enjoy axe throwing, running the Kilted Mile (with loaner kilts available for those without), highland wrestling and more.
There will also be Border Collie demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, as well as Highland Cows and a demonstration of sheep shearing. Check these out, as well as vendors offering jewelry, clothing books, music, meat pies, sausage rolls and more.
If you want to find out about your Scottish ancestry, think about visiting one of the more than sixty heritage and clan societies that will be present to tell you about clan history, genealogy and the history of Scotland. For 2009, the Festival is honoring Clan Gunn, but all clans at the festival will be represented in the Sunday Parade of Tartans. At the Scottish Tartans Museum Tent near the Festival’s front gate, you’ll be able to talk to Matt Newsome, an expert on the development of the tartan and the kilt, as well as other traditional Scottish attire.
This Scottish festival in Gatlinburg, TN has been going strong for twenty-eight years, and promises to be just as fun as it ever was. Remember to dress for the weather and that no pets are allowed at the games, and don’t forget to have fun! If you’re interested in finding out more about the Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games, check out their website at http://www.gsfg.org.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Gatlinburg, be sure to check out our list of Gatlinburg, TN cabins.
*The Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games have since moved to Maryville College in Maryville, TN. Click the following link for more information on the annual Smoky Mountain Highland Games in Maryville.