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 www.gsfg.org.
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)
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
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
Scottish hammer throw
Weight throw/weight for distance event
Weight over the bar/weight for height
Maide Leisg (‘Lazy Stick’)
For additional information on this year’s Heavy Athletics competition, contact Dave Summers email@example.com
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
•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
Sunday at the Lowland Field
•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
•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.
•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
Scott’s Keltic Kitchen
Smoky Mtn KettleKorn
St. Andrew’s Square
Valley Farms Concessions
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 www.smokymountaingames.org/tickets or at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.