Dandridge, Tennessee - The 5th Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival is an old-time Main Street music festival, held on Saturday, September 24, 2011 in historic downtown Dandridge, Tennessee. On the shores of Loch (Lake) Douglas and in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, the Festival honors the Town’s earliest settlers in 1783. Admission is free and all entertainment is provided free of charge, courtesy of generous sponsors and patrons. Dandridge’s Main Street is closed to vehicles and lined with vendors and Clan tents.
All vendors have a Scottish or Irish theme in their food or wares. Entertainment is non-stop, until a lone piper atop the Dandridge Dike closes the evening Ceilidh (concert) with a moving and stirring rendition of Amazing Grace. This Festival is the creation of the Dandridge Community Trust, the non-profit organization that sponsors the Town of Dandridge’s participation the national Main Street program. The Festival has become known nationally for its high quality entertainment, vendors, and unique small town feel. The Town of Dandridge was recently named one of 2011’s "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Visit websites at www.Scots-Irish.org or at www.mainstreetdandridge.com
Bagpipes and Dancing Competition
The sound of bagpipes fills the air beginning at 8:30 A.M. when the individual piping competition begins. Fully sanctioned by the United States Pipe Band Association, this competition features some of the country’s best pipers. Also starting early is the Scottish Highland Dance competition. After a highly successful debut last year, expect an even larger field of incredibly talented dancers to participate. This event is sanctioned by the Federation of United States Teachers and Adjudicators (FUSTA), and Highland dancers from near and far will be showing their best moves to the judges in search of national points and awards. In addition, there will be interactive demonstrations of Irish step dancing provided by local dance schools.
Non-Stop Music and Entertainment
At noon, the award winning Knoxville Pipes and Drums parades down Main Street to officially open the musical portion of the Festival. Musical entertainment is continuous on the Lowland Stage throughout the day and leads to the exciting evening Ceilidh starting at 6:30 P.M. Entertainers for 2011 include the popular local Celtic rock band Cutthroat Shamrock, and nationally known Scottish balladeer Colin Grant-Adams. The Knoxville Pipes and Drums, along with Scottish Highland dancers and Irish step dancers are guaranteed to keep the Celtic mood high. Back by popular demand is The Martin Family Band, who will astound you with their amazing energy, blazing Irish fiddle tunes and step dancing. This year’s headline act is the international touring group Coyote Run, who bring an adrenalin filled show of Celtic music to the stage, and are widely acclaimed as one of the hottest bands on the Celtic music circuit today. The Ceilidh closes with a lone piper atop the Dandridge dike playing Amazing Grace, a moving performance that will long be remembered, and provides a fitting conclusion to the evening.
Vendors, Clans and Demonstrations
Vendors and clans line each side of historic Main Street. All merchandise vendors offer items that are Celtic in nature. They bring a wide variety of creations, from musical instruments, clothing, and books to jewelry, custom iron work and family history items. Ever wanted to try haggis or a meat pie? The food vendors offer an amazing selection of Celtic fare and other unique foodstuffs, as well as traditional Festival goodies. Representatives from numerous Clans will be present to assist Festival goers in learning about their family history. A fun dog show will offer the chance for any ordinary pet to be a star for the day in what is becoming one of the more popular daytime events. In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and commemorating the Scots-Irish contribution in several battles that took place in or near Dandridge, local re-enactors will construct an encampment to demonstrate what life was like during that time. If you have ever wanted to see a Highland coo or a black faced sheep, they are on display. There is a supervised children’s play area for the wee ones. Stay for a few hours, or stay all day- there is plenty to do and see!
THE COMPLETE SCOTS-IRISH EXPERIENCE:
In addition to Saturday’s all day activities, two other events are held in relation to the Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival. There is a private, invitation only, Sponsor/Patron reception on Friday night September 23, 2011 before the Festival. The reception features authentic Scottish and Irish foods and an exclusive, intimate performance by this year’s headline music act Coyote Run. Several sponsor and patron packages are available. On Sunday, September 25, 2011 two local churches will recognize the importance of faith to the Scots-Irish community at their 11:00 A.M. service. Please visit the Festival website at www.Scots-Irish.org for complete details on entertainer bios and schedules, dance and piping entry forms, parking, vendor information, and sponsor packages.