A year ago I wrote about the Gatlinburg Scottish Festival held in Gatlinburg. For many reasons including space, they moved this year to Maryville College, re-branded themselves as the Smoky Mountain Highland Games, and there is no looking back. Attendance last year was between 2,500-2,700; celebrating this year, for the 30th annual time, the Maryville, TN inaugural event had over 6,000 in attendance.
The Daily Times, our local paper, certainly gave it a whopping amount of space. Their calendar of events, headline and side stories may have helped create interest, but certainly the additional space and 2 to 3 times the tent space helped. Of course, what better place than Maryville College, home of the “Fighting Scots?” One person was overheard saying it was redundant to call a Scot a Fighting Scot!
This year’s honored guest was Lord Hugh Montgomerie, a chieftain of his clan and heir to his father the 18th Earl of Eglinton and 6th Earl of Winton! Finding out more about your own clan is an important part of the festival but you certainly, don’t have to be Scottish to partake of the festivities. Food: Scottish eggs, meat pies and haggis to name a few of the traditional offerings, were almost as popular as the beer tent. For the activities, it really helps to go with the Times pre-printed schedule. Friday kicked off with the Knoxville Pipes and Drums parade and a reception at the Clayton Center. Saturday 8am-8pm and Sunday 8:30pm to 5pm was nonstop competitive events, music, shopping and demonstrations. mizkathleen@ Gracehill Bed and Breakfast
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