About the Festival

Welcome to East Tennessee's premier celebration of Scottish culture and history, the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games. In 2022, the event moves to a new location at the Townsend Visitor Center (7906 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.) in Townsend, Tenn.

Originally founded in 1981 as the Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games, the Games are one of the oldest Scottish Festivals in the country. In 2010, a new home was established in the city of Maryville on the grounds of historic Maryville College, home of "The Scots." Now in 2022, we have moved the event to a larger venue just down road in Townsend.

You don't have to be Scottish in order to enjoy this unique Festival! Our location in the foothills of The Great Smoky Mountains is the perfect backdrop for you and your family to get a wee glimpse of Scotland -and to discover and appreciate the rich traditions and history of the Scottish and Scots-Irish settlers of our area. 

East Tennessee’s celebration of Scottish culture returns May 21-22, 2022, and features the beloved clans, games and athletes from years past.

The event feature clans, vendors and local and national performers. The property at the visitor center provides a scenic destination for the festival with views of the nearby mountains and is just minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cades Cove. The 30-plus acres at the center includes adjacent parking.

Festival attendees will be treated to vibrant cultural and educational presentations, while Scotch tasting seminars will feature a bit of history and humor, and the Border Collie demonstrations will showcase their herding abilities.

Competitions include the hammer throw or caber toss, a medley of bands including bagpipes and drummers, and clan challenges like the kilted mile run or the battle axe competition.

 

Dozens of colorful Pipe and Drum bands fill the air with the distinctive wail that instantly transports you back in time. The displays provided by Clans and cultural heritage organization groups frame the Main Field, where kilted athletes engage in traditional feats of phenomenal strength, including everyone's favorite, the caber toss. Our musical entertainment venues showcase the best in international Celtic entertainers, with a mix of both modern and traditional performers, guaranteed to please music lovers of any age. Vibrantly attired dancers compete in the ballet-like moves that define the grace and beauty of Highland Dance. Sheepdog demonstrations, Scottish animal exhibits, and even a supervised kid's play area ensure plenty of fun and activities for the entire family.

Our specially selected vendors offer Scottish, Irish, and Celtic goods not normally found in stores, with everything from leather and jewelry to kilts and sporrans. The enticing smells of traditional Scottish and Irish foods, such as meat pies, shortbreads, and yes – haggis – will compete for your attention and will indulge your senses.

If you have been to The Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games before, we look forward to your return and to the rekindling of old friendships. If you have not yet had the opportunity to attend, the volunteers and sponsors who make our Festival possible extend a personal invitation to you and your family to come join us. Come for the pipes and drums; come for the history; come for the athletic competitions, entertainers and exhibits; come for the food and drink. Come and have a great time!