Formerly held in Gatlinburg, this year’s Scottish Highland Festival will be held about 20 minutes away in Maryville, Tennessee, May 20-22. Gather around your clan tent to watch athletic competitions which include the Caber Toss, Stone Put, Scottish Hammer Throw and Sheaf Toss. Other less athletic competitions include highland dance, pipes and drums, a dog show and a clan challenge. There will be plenty of musical entertainment on hand as several bands perform traditional and original Celtic songs; you will surely be dancing a jig after hearing these bands. Food vendors will be selling everything from fish and chips to the true Scottish delicacy of Haggis. There will also be plenty of unique merchandise readily available for purchase such as handcrafted Celtic jewelry, Scottish kilts, bagpipes, and clan attire. Don’t forget to book your Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge lodging!
While in the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge area, enjoy a peaceful hour-long Horseback Ride through the Smoky Mountains. Geared towards beginners, the guided tour will take you along a beautiful mountain stream, through lush forestry and by wonderfully colorful wildflowers. All of the horses used are extremely gentle and mild-mannered, due in part to the fact that they live in a pasture, not in stalls, and get the opportunity to run and play regularly. This is truly a wonderful way to spend some time in the Smoky Mountains!
For a more adventurous activity, hitch a ride aboard the ZORB, an 11-foot-tall inflatable globe that takes you down an 820-foot hill for a ride you won’t soon forget. The Zorbit, or dry ride, harnesses the rider into the globe and rolls head over heels down a straight track while the Zydro, or wet ride, places you in the globe with five gallons of water and lets you slip and slide your way down the straight track or the more thrilling zig zag track. You and two friends can even ride the Zydro together for a really wild time. ZORB is the only one of its kind in the United States so make sure and plan an afternoon for a ride like no other!