Smoky Mountain Highland Games

The 2011 Smoky Mountain Highland Games will be held May 20-22 at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn.

If you’re interested in Scottish history and culture, the 2013 Smoky Mountain Highland 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 32nd games will be held May 17-19 at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, and if you’re Scottish, or just like Scots, you need to be there.

Check out the activities and the pageantry this Scottish festival in Maryville, Tennessee has to offer, and take home many years’ worth of memories. The weekend starts out with a Scottish whiskey tasting and seminar at Proffitt Dining Hall, followed by a gala at the Clayton Center for the Arts in the grand foyer on Friday evening.

On Saturday and Sunday, you’ll get to participate in an evening 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 Celtic Martins, Albannach, Colin Grant-Adams and Father, Son & Friends throughout the day and at the Saturday night Ceilidh Under the Stars, starting at 7 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 challenge. 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, heavy athletics, a sheep dog competition and more.

Check these out, as well as other vendors on site offering jewelry, clothing, books, music, Scottish meat pies, sausage rolls and more.

If you want to find out about your Scottish ancestry, stop by one of the more than 60 heritage and clan societies that will be on hand to tell you about clan history, genealogy and the history of Scotland. At the Scottish Tartans Museum Tent near the Festival’s front gate, you’ll be able to talk to experts on the development of the tartan and the kilt, as well as other traditional Scottish attire.

This Scottish festival, now in Maryville, TN has been going strong for 30 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 Smoky Mountain Highland Games, check out their website at

If you are looking for a place to stay in Townsend, be sure to check out our list of Townsend, TN cabins and Townsend campgrounds.

Below is the full Smoky Mountain Highland Games schedule of events:


3 PM – Scotch Whisky Seminar & Tasting with Colin Grant-Adams, Proffitt Dining Hall
6:30 PM – Kickoff Parade & Concert – Downtown Maryville. Pipe bands, entertainers & more!
6:30 PM – Gala at the Clayton Center for the Arts Grand Foyer


Saturday Music Schedule

8 AM – Gates open
– Merchandise & food vendors open
– Pipers & Drummers registration
– Athlete Registration
12 Noon – Massed Band Presentation
– Opening Ceremonies
1:30 PM – Scotch Whisky Seminar & Tasting, Proffitt Dining Hall
4:30 PM – Massed Bands Presentation
– Pipe & Drum Band Competition, Awards Presentation
– Days End Fade Out
All day – Scottish country dancing, border collie demonstrations, children’s activities, clan challenge, athletics, entertainment, dance & piping competition
7 PM – Ceilidh Under the Stars begins

The caber toss – a Scottish tradition.


Sunday Music Schedule

8:30 AM – Gates Open
– Merchandise & Food Vendors Open
9:30 AM – Worship Service
– Kirking of the Tartans
12 Noon – Pipe Band concert
1:15 PM – Massed Bands Presentation
– Parade of Tartans
1:45 PM – Scottish Dog Parade & Talent Show (Open to everyone. Entries invited.)
All day – Scottish country dancing, amateur athletics, children’s activities, heritage seminars, entertainment
3 PM – Closing Ceremonies – “Amazing Grace” by the pipe bands