Most Frequently Asked Questions
I’m not Scottish - why should I attend the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games?
First and foremost, it’s an outdoor festival with fabulous live music and dance, delicious food and libations, activities just for the wee ones, colorful ceremonies and a beautiful setting in the Great Smoky Mountains! Plus, you get to explore all things Scottish! Thrill at competitions of athletic prowess like the caber toss, musical skill on the legendary bagpipes, and the beauty of highland dance.
You might even learn that you have a connection to a Scottish clan as one in five Tennesseans can trace their ancestry to the Scots Irish who were the first settlers of the Great Smoky Mountains. We invite you to explore the heritage of the Scots-Irish of Appalachia, celebrate Scottish traditions and be Scottish for the day!
Where and when is the event?
The Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games is typically the third full weekend in May. It is in Townsend, Tennessee, at the Townsend Visitors Center, 7906 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend TN 37882.
Where is the best parking and how much is parking?
Ample parking is available on the venue grounds for $5 per vehicle, which goes to support the Townsend Volunteer Fire Department. Courtesy carts move throughout the parking area to transport guests to the Admission Gate. However, the number of carts is limited and wait times may be necessary.
Some nearby property owners offer parking, which is not affiliated with the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games nor does the festival provide transportation to or from those parking areas.
Is on-site camping available?
No camping is allowed on the festival grounds, however several campgrounds are close by.
Can I purchase tickets in advance?
Yes! Gate prices are higher so buy your tickets in advance online! Online tickets are available now and advance ticket pricing ends Monday, May 15 at 8 am. Tickets may still be purchased online after that time but at gate prices.
Tickets should be printed after purchasing or saved to your phone for scanning at the Admission Gate.
Can I purchase tickets at the event?
Yes, but gate ticket prices are higher, and there may be lines for purchase.
Do you accept cash and credit cards for ticket purchases?
Advance tickets must be purchased with a credit or debit card. Gate tickets may be purchased with cash, credit or debit.
Are children admitted free of charge?
Children 15 years of age and under can attend the event at no charge when accompanied by an adult purchasing a ticket.
Do you have VIP tickets?
Yes! We offer a Highlander Patron package.
Is re-entry permitted?
Same day re-entry is permitted, so you can come and go from the festival site on the day of admission. Re-entry is not permitted throughout the weekend unless you hold a pass for each day or a 2-day weekend pass.
Are refunds available if I do not use my tickets?
All ticket sales are final and non-refundable.
What is your weather policy?
The Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games is Rain or Shine. If weather is deemed unsafe, performances may be postponed or canceled. Tickets are non-refundable. All sales are final.
At The Event
What can or can’t I bring?
- Bicycles are not permitted inside the venue.
- Attendees are welcome to bring chairs, but canopies and tents are not allowed.
- Small one-gallon coolers are permitted for medical or dietary reasons only, no larger coolers permitted. There will be food vendors, water and beer available for purchase in the venue.
- Alcoholic beverages brought in from outside the festival are not permitted.
- Small backpacks and bags are permitted but the Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games reserves the right to inspect any items or packages and to require attendees to remove items from the Festival grounds. Please leave any non-essential items at home.
- Baby strollers are permitted.
- Dogs are permitted and must be on a maximum six-foot leash and well behaved at all times. Dog owners must clean up after any waste dogs make.
Will there be ATMS on site?
No, there are no ATMS on site. The Townsend IGA, which is located across the Lamar Alexander Parkway from the festival grounds, has an ATM. Cash, credit and debit cards may be used on-site.
Will there be beer available for purchase?
Yes. ID required.
Do you have a Scotch tasting event?
Yes, tastings will be held on Saturday, May 20, at 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. The tastings are not included in general admission and require separate tickets.
Can I buy a SMSFG T-shirt online?
Souvenir t-shirts are only available at the event.
Will there be shade?
There are several tent areas including the beer and entertainment area. But this is an outdoor event, so plan accordingly.
Are motorized mobility devices allowed?
Yes. However, be aware this is an outdoor venue where terrain and weather can affect the use of such devices. Private carts, like golf carts, are not permitted on the festival grounds.
Is there a Lost and Found?
There will be a designated tent for Lost and Found items near the information tent. The Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival and Games is not responsible for any items left at the festival.
Can anyone compete in the events?
No. Only pre-registered athletes can compete in the Heavy Athletics, and only pre-registered dancers, pipers and drummers can compete in their events. There will be open events, such as Clan Challenge, Dog Parade, children’s events, and the Parade of Tartans.
What kinds of food and merchandise will be available for purchase?
Various vendors will have food available for purchase. Typical fare can include familiar foods like sandwiches, funnel cakes, etc., with several vendors serving Scottish dishes like haggis, bridies, fish and chips, scotch eggs and similar items.