DANDRIDGE, Tenn. – Outstanding Scottish and Irish entertainers vie for attention with the Bagpipe & Drum Band Playoff Challenge at the 11th annual Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival, which will take place Sept. 29-30 on Main Street in downtown Dandridge, Tennessee. The festival is free and open to the public.
Saturday’s experience will be a trip back in time to enjoy the heritage of the original Scots-Irish who settled in East Tennessee ca. 1783, following the Revolutionary War. Visitors will experience Scottish and Irish music, Highland dancing, Irish step dancing, heritage organizations, Highland Clan booths, Highland cattle and black faced sheep exhibits, sheepdog trials, highland athletic demonstrations and storytellers for both children and adults. Scottish and Irish food, baked goods, meals and treats will abound as well as Scots and Irish merchandise vendors, and much more.
Main Stage entertainment will feature four Scottish/Irish bands, including: The Celtic Martin Family (Newmansville, Pennsylvania); The Thistledown Tinkers (Charlotte, North Carolina); and Lonestar Stout (Dallas, Texas). The O’Kennessee Strings and Singer/Fiddler/Storyteller Kathryn Powell will perform on the Lowland Stage. Cranruach (Lexington, Virginia) will perform in the Revolutionary Graveyard.
The 4th Annual Pipe & Drum Band Challenge Playoff Competition will include the Knoxville Pipes & Drums; the 17th Lancers Pipes & Drums (Nashville); and the Atholl Highlanders Pipes & Drum (Stone Mountain, Georgia). These bands will play twice each during the day as well as marching in the Ceremonial Parade noon on Main Street and as Mass Bands 4 p.m. on the Dike. They will perform for public, judging to take home the Best Band Award.
Individual entertainers of renown include Robert Valentine, Scottish Emcee (Murray, KY); children’s storyteller/fiddler/singer Kathryn Powell (Arlington, Texas); award-winning highland dancer Claire Macmillan (Knoxville) and her students; as well as award-winning Irish step dancer Katie Carver (Augusta, Georgia) and her students from Maryville, Tennessee.
Following the Ceilidh (concert) on Loch Douglas, most of the above entertainers will be on stage for a special Ceilidh Encore. Bagpiper Kelly Shipe will close the evening with her 10th annual rendition of ‘Piper on the Dike’ while spotlighted behind Town Hall and the Highland Stage.
‘Days Gone By,’ an old time children’s playground (Sevierville) returns for their 11th year. The Games’ Highland heavy athletic demonstration will be performed by Randy Gratz, Lt.Col. (USAF retired) now of the Florida Keys. Gratz will demonstrate the caber toss, hammer throw, stone put and more. Phil Lakin will bring his Highland cattle, Scottish black-faced sheep and his Border collie sheep dogs, a must-see exhibit for guests. Lakin will also have his Border collies perform in a ‘sheepdog trials’ on the Dike. Roger Kelley (Jefferson City) will exhibit his Civil War books & uniforms.
There will also be a dog parade down Main Street.
For more information, visit www.ScotsIrishFestival.com.
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