It's been a few years since I went to two festivals in one day, but sometimes the local festival schedule lines up just right (or wrong) and you don't really want to choose. This happened to me yesterday, when I was planning (as I have been all year) to attend the International Biscuit Festival downtown but was then invited to also attend the Smoky Mountain Highland Games, which I have never been to before. Unable to choose between the two, I decided that I would hit the Biscuit Festival as early as possible in the morning, and then meet up with Kristin, Logan, Becky, and their friends for the Highland Games in the afternoon.
The morning dawned a little rainy:
but that didn't keep people away:
I had a good time at the Biscuit Festival. I met the Biscuit Queen:
and was informed by the man standing next to me that, "I think her hair is a wig."
Really? Next you're going to tell me that the biscuits in her wig are made of plastic.
I got to walk around the festival vendors and the Farmer's Market vendors:
(I love that Pepsi case display for the bouquets; awesome vintage repurposing)
and, most importantly, I got to eat biscuits.
Bella Luna's Pepperoni Pizza Biscuit:
was good, especially since many of the other competitors went with sweet biscuits. It was nice to have something savory in there. The festival winner was also a savory biscuit, so I may not have been the only one who felt this way.
The gluten-free biscuit:
was better than I expected, although a little chewy.
I was rather disappointed in Tupelo Honey Cafe's Green Eyed Monster Pimento Cheese biscuit:
which was a biscuit sandwich with fried jalapeno peppers. While the restaurant is kind of locally famous for their biscuits, and they've always been good when I ate them there, I think they were trying to put out too many too fast yesterday, because my biscuit was underdone and doughy in the middle. This was disappointing, because this was the only competitor that I waited in line for, since they have such a good reputation. Sadly, they may have been coasting on it yesterday, which may also explain why they didn't win.
Once I was all carbed out, I went home to rest for a few hours (it was only supposed to be an hour, but everyone was running late yesterday), and then Kristen picked me up for the Highland Games, at nearby Maryville College. I don't really know anything about Maryville other than that they are private and are rumored to pay employees well, but their mascot is apparently the Scots:
so I guess it makes sense that the Highland Games would be held there.
The games were interesting, if a little rainy. We saw a lot of people in kilts:
and some traditional Scottish food, like haggis...
...and deep fried candy?
I'll never forget the scene in MacBeth when the three witches gather around a bubbling cauldron of deep-frying Snickers bars. It's good to see those modern traditions carried forward to the present day.
And hey, speaking of MacBeth, it turns out that I am a descendant according to wikipedia. Yesterday at the festival all of the Scottish clans had their own booths, so Kristin and I went looking for the MacMillan booth, since the Scottish part of my dad's complicated ancestry was of the Clan MacMillan. Initially, we had trouble locating them, and it seemed like we were walking forever, especially since the booths were not in alphabetical order. Eventually I made a suggestion:
"They'll probably be in a booth all by themselves because they can't get along with any of the other booths if they're anything like Dad's family."
Sure enough, all the way down past all of the other booths and separated from the next closest booth by an empty booth we found the MacMillans:
and our traditional tartan:
which none of the vendors were carryng. According to wikipedia, the clan was at one point banned from Scotland (no surprise there), so that may eplain the lack of MacMillan popularity among the vendors present.
Once we got tired of researching my ancestry we watching some of the games, including caber tossing:
with the goal being that the caber (the log/telephone pole) tumbles end over end, but the most often result being that it just splats onto the ground in the mud.
I also saw an adorable dog herd some adorable sheep:
rounding them up each time they drifted too far from their trailer.
I also saw some Civil War re-enactors who apparently came to the wrong festival:
but it's possible that they were two festing, too.