MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Bagpipes, kilts, and battle-axes will officially return May 15 and 16 to Maryville College for the 39th Smoky Mountain Scottish Festival & Games.

The popular Scottish heritage festival was canceled last year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers had said the festival was contingent on COVID-19 numbers in the area but confirmed Friday, May 7 that the it will move forward as planned.

“Due to the absence of the festival last year, we expect to see a lot of interest,” festival organizer Keith Austin said. “It’s a much-anticipated event, and we’re excited to be able to hold it this year while also following COVID-19 precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Masks are required to enter the festival grounds and social distancing will be in place.

Patrons can expect three stages with music, dancers, and cultural presentations; Scotch tasting seminars; border collie demonstrations; and Highland games. The two-day festival features more than 50 clans, 30+ vendors and local and national performers.

“Being relatively new to the area, my family and I have not had the opportunity to attend the Games, so we’re hoping that this much-anticipated event can happen in 2021,” said Maryville College President Dr. Bryan F. Coker. “The College is working closely with the Games organizations to ensure that COVID-safe practices are put in place and that safety for all attendees is a priority.” 

Multiple ticket pass options are available from $15 to $35 depending on the day and time. Festival goers can save time and money by buying online. First responders, seniors, veterans, active-duty military and students will receive a discounted rate with ID.