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Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games

by Jim Watson

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Published on this site: March 25th, 2009 - See more articles from this month

Whether you're of Scottish heritage or you simply admire those who are, Gatlinburg's Scottish Festival and Games is your kind of event. Held annually each May, this is one of the Smoky's most unique festivals.


Music is such a large part of Scottish life that it has to take center stage at this outing. There'll be bagpipes galore along with other types of music during this weekend event. Day one kicks off with a parade featuring pipes and drums. Saturday and Sunday continue in the same tradition with an outdoor Ceilidh (a Scottish music festival) that lasts long into the night. You can also witness pipe and drum competitions which are as interesting to watch as they are entertaining to listen to.

If your musical tastes include balladeers on guitar, Celtic rock or even Celtic punk, you're in luck. They'll all be featured during the festival.


Amateur and pro events are held during the Scottish Festival and Games for all who choose to participate. Tossing, whirling and throwing require great strength and accuracy. These athletes are bound to impress every onlooker with their skill and might.

As with the original Scottish Highland Games, stone putting events are one of the main draws. At the Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games, athletes can choose from competitions for braemar stone, open stone, heavy WFD, light WFD, heavy hammer, caber, sheaf and WFH. Both men's and women's events are held in pro and amateur categories.


Highland dancing - one of the most popular forms of dance in Scotland - will be on display throughout the event. With numerous children's competitions, you'll find ample time to watch the amazing footwork of these talented performers. With novice and intermediate dancers in virtually every age range, you'll sit in wonder as you're entertained and impressed.

Border Collies

Natively from Scotland, border collies are some of the most intelligent K-9s in the world. These high-energy herding dogs live for working in the fields, keeping watch over the flocks. Responding to both voice and whistle commands with astonishing accuracy, border collies are as beautiful as they are agile.

Bob Coburn of Windy Knoll Farms in Laurens, South Carolina will conduct sheep dog trials twice daily. You'll marvel at the mind-blowing display these dogs present. There's little wonder this event always draws big crowds of spectators.

From worship services Sunday morning to a mile-long run to kiddie events, there's plenty for the entire family to do and see. Gatlinburg's Scottish Festival and Games has captured the hearts of Smoky Mountain residents for over 25 years. Come see what all the talk is about!

Jim Watson: Is Owner of Timbercreek Cabins offering Smoky Mountain rental cabins available now. Visit http://www.timbercreekcabins.com today for a complete listing of cabin rentals.

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