Press the kilt: Smoky Mountain Highland Games are May 20-22

The Smoky Mountain Highland Games will be held Friday, May 20, through Sunday, May 22, at Maryville College. This is the 30th year for the festival but the first time it has been held at Maryville College. The festival previously was known as the Gatlinburg Scottish Festival & Games.

The honored clan this year is Montgomery, and the clan’s chieftain, Hugh Montgomery, will attend the games, as will many clan members from around the country.

The weekend begins with a gala on Friday, May 20, in the William Baxter Lee III Grand Foyer of the Clayton Center for the Arts. Drinks and entertainment begin at 5 p.m., followed by a formal sit-down dinner of Scottish fare at 6:30 p.m. There also will be a traditional haggis ceremony. Tickets are $45 per person and must be purchased in advance.

Gates will open at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 21, for the games, pipers and drummers competitions and sales by merchandise and food vendors. “Days Gone By,” a play area with old-fashioned activities, will be available for children from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“Heavy athletics” events, which honor and celebrate the culture and heritage of Scotland, include the caber toss, stone put, Scottish hammer throw, sheaf toss and Maide Leisg (“Lazy Stick”). Clans can compete in events such as the Kilted Mile, Bonniest Knees, Haggis Toss and tug-of-war contests.

There will be kid versions of the caber toss, haggis toss and kilted sprint for children ages 6-14. Participants in the games must wear some form of a tartan.

Piping and drumming competitions will be held throughout the weekend. Entertainment and dance tents will be set up and will feature such musical acts as Mother Grove, the Blessed Blend, Colin Grant-Adams and Cutthroat Shamrock.

The Smoky Mountain Highland Games’ Ceilidh Under the Stars will take place 7-10:30 p.m. Saturday. A ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lay”) is a traditional Gaelic social gathering that involves music and dancing. A Scottish country-dance performance will be held at 8 p.m. at the college’s Alumni Gymnasium.

On Sunday, May 22, there will be a 9:30 a.m. Scottish worship service, including a “Kirking of the Tartans.” The Massed Bands Presentation, Parade of Tartans and Tribute to Veterans are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The games end at 5 p.m.

Most of the activities will take place in the southeast corner of campus, in and around Lloyd Beach.

For ticket info, visit

Schedule of Events

• Friday Night Gala

6 p.m., Friday, May 20

Clayton Center for the Arts


The Friday Night Gala is the formal kickoff for the Smoky Mountain Highland Games. This will be a sit-down served dinner.

Games Entertainment Schedule

Saturday, May 21

•9:30 am - The Blessed Blend

•10:25 am - Cutthroat Shamrock

•11:15 am - Colin Grant-Adams

•12 Noon - Opening Ceremony on Field

•12:30 pm - Mother Grove

•1:30 pm - The Blessed Blend

•2:20 pm - Colin Grant-Adams

•3:15 pm - Cutthroat Shamrock

•4:15 pm - Mother Grove

Saturday Evening - Under The Stars

•7 p.m. - Colin Grant- Adams

•7:55 pm - The Blessed Blend

•8:50 pm - Mother Grove

•9:45 pm - Cutthroat Shamrock

Sunday, May 22

•10 a.m. - Mother Grove

•10:55 am - Cutthroat Shamrock

•11:40 am - Colin Grant-Adams

•12:35 pm - The Blessed Blend

•1:30 pm - Mother Grove

•2:15 pm - Colin Grant-Adams

•3:10 pm - The Blessed Blend

•4:05 pm - Cutthroat Shamrock

•Sheep Dog Demonstrations With Bill Colburn and his Border Collies of Windy Knoll Farms, Laurens, S.C. - Lowland Field: Saturday 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.

• Scotch Whisky Seminars: $15 each - 3 p.m. Friday, 1:30 p.m. Saturday Both seminars will be held at the Proffitt’s Dining Hall on campus.

Scottish Heavy Athletics Competition

(All Athletic Events will occur at the Lowland Field unless specified otherwise)

• Saturday

8 a.m. -- 8:30 a.m.-- Professional and Amateur Heavy Athletics Registration

9 a.m. Heavy Athletics

Pros and Amateurs throughout the day

After opening ceremonies Caber Toss with Pros - Highland Field

Sheaf Toss at the Highlands Field

• Sunday

8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. -- Masters and Women Athletes Registration

9 a.m. Heavy Athletics Competition begins

Caber Toss - Masters and Women

Sheaf Toss at the Highlands Field

Highland Athletics - Heavy Events

Caber Toss

Stone put

Scottish hammer throw

Weight throw/weight for distance event

Weight over the bar/weight for height

Sheaf Toss

Maide Leisg (‘Lazy Stick’)

For additional information on this year’s Heavy Athletics competition, contact Dave Summers

Highland Dance Highland Field


•9:30 a.m. -- Highland Dance Registration

•10 a.m. -- Beginner, Novice, Primary and Intermediate Dance Competition begins

•12:30 p.m. Premiers Registration

•12:30 p.m. Premiers Highland Dance Competition

Pipes and Drums

Pipers Field


•8 a.m. Pipers and Drummers Individual Competition

•1 p.m. Pipe and Drum Band Competition

•4 p.m. Pipe and Drum Band Awards Presentation


•10 a.m. Drum Major Competition Registration

•11 a.m. Pipe Band visiting Clans

•12:30 p.m. -- Drum Major Competition

•1:30 p.m. -- Massed Bands Presentation, Parade of Tartans, Tribute to Veterans at the Lowland Field

•3:30 p.m. -- Presentation of Drum Major Awards

Scottish Dog Parade and Talent Show

2:30 p.m.

Sunday at the Lowland Field

Clan Challenge


•10 a.m. Kilted Mile (start together)

•10 a.m. Battle Axe (continues all day)

•12:45 p.m. Bonniest Knees - Scottish Country Dance Tent

•1:30 p.m. 16 pound Stone Throw

•2 p.m. Clan Tug ‘o War


•10:30 a.m. Battle Ax

•11 a.m. Clan Triathlon

•2:15 p.m. Haggis Hurl

•4 p.m. Awards Ceremony

Kid’s Athletics

Highland Field

Saturday Only

•9:30 a.m. -- Kids Challenge, ages 6 to 8

•2 p.m. -- Kids Challenge, ages 9 to 11

•3 p.m. -- Kids Challenge, ages 12 to 14

Participants must wear some form of a Tartan. No prizes will be awarded.

Sunday events

•9:30 a.m. -- Scottish worship service including a “Kirking of the Tartans.”

•1:30 p.m. -- Massed Bands Presentation, Parade of Tartans and Tribute to Veterans

Food Vendors (at press time)

Cameron’s British Foods

Cripple Creek Foods

Ears & Spuds

Rainbo Shaved Ice

Riverhouse Acres

Scott’s Keltic Kitchen

Smoky Mtn KettleKorn

St. Andrew’s Square

Valley Farms Concessions

Ticket prices

Adult Tickets:

Saturday Games - $18

Saturday Evening Ceilidh (Concert) - $10

Saturday Games & Ceilidh - $25

Sunday Games - $13

Saturday & Sunday Games - $25

All Three (3) Events - $30

Scotch Whisky Seminar Friday - $15

Friday Night Gala Reception - $45

Children’s Tickets, ages 5 - 14

(Under age 5 are free)

Saturday Games - $5

Saturday Evening Ceilidh - $500

Sunday Games - $5

All Three (3) Events - $12

Students ages 15-24 with ID

Saturday Games - $10

Saturday Evening Ceilidh - $8

Sunday Games - $10

All Three (3) Events - $24

Patron packages are also available with prices ranging from $100 to $1,000.

Tickets are on sale at the Games, online at or at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.

© 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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