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Embrace Scottish Culture at 42nd Annual Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games

by Aoife O'Riordan

Mar 25, 2024

© Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games

Destinations / North America

This year marks the 42nd annual Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games, and family travelers with Scottish ancestry (or simply an appreciation of the culture) should make for this exciting event. From bagpiping to dancing to sheep herding to whisky tastings, there’s no shortage of fun.


Scottish dancer

© Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games

Taking place at Townsend Visitors Center in Tennessee, this festival preserves the diverse and cultural landscape honoring Scottish heritage. Many Scottish settlers were pioneers in Tennessee in the 18th century. In fact, one of Townsend’s neighboring cities, Maryville, has a college named Maryville College, its mascot being the Scots.


This year, expect children’s activities, bagpipes and drumming, a clan challenge, Highland dance, entertainment (headliners include Tuatha Dea, Syr and Pictus), whisky tastings, heavy athletics and more.


More than 10,000 people are expected to attend.


Scottish sport

© Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games

“So many East Tennesseeans can trace their roots back to Scotland or Ireland allowing for people to enjoy the rich heritage of this area. From the music of the Appalachian Mountains influenced by Scottish and Irish folk tunes, to the enduring presence of Celtic festivals and gatherings, these ancestral roots are deeply woven into the fabric of East Tennessee life,” said Keith Austin, festival organizer.


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