For John Morman, it was a no-brainer to make the trip from Lexington, Virginia to Dandridge on Saturday for the Scots-Irish Festival.
“We love coming here,” said Morman, owner of Celtic Tide. “This is a don’t miss festival.”
Thousands showed up Saturday to the Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival. The 13th annual festival was held on Main Street in downtown and many festival goers received a healthy dose of Scottish and Irish culture.
The event included Irish dancers, bags and pipe bands and performers of Irish and Scottish music.
At one point, the Knoxville Bags and Pipes band sounded off with a version of “Rocky Top” and the crowd whooped as the song was played.
Denise Frinzi, a Dandridge resident who moved to the area eight years ago from Wisconsin, said she loves the event.
She said she loves the different foods, entertainers and the community spirit as everyone gets together.
“What is not to love about this festival?” she asked.
The event kicked off Friday with a reception.
A total of 12 clans and heritage organizations participated in the event. This year’s honored clan was Clan Graham and Richard Graham served as distinguished guest.
Two stages were set up, the Highland Stage on Main Street and the Lowland Stage, offering a variety of entertainment for festival goers from highland dancing and Irish step dancing on the lower stage and raucous Irish and Scottish music on the highland stage.
The festival also held a dog parade, demonstration of Highland games and sheepdog trials.
As to be expected at a Scots-Irish Festival, there was also plenty of bagpipes.
Morman, who sells a variety of Scotch and Irish items including coats of arms and printed family history, said he and his family have only missed one festival in 13 years.
“We love this event,” he said. “We love coming to Dandridge. They’ve been very kind to us.”
Even as the sun beat down on festival goers Saturday in 90-degree heat, Morman said sales hadn’t missed a beat from previous years.
“It’s been very good,” he said.