Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Cape Fear Valley Scottish Festival

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006

See also: Highland Scots; Argyll Colony; Scottish Settlers; Highland Games

The Cape Fear Valley Scottish Festival, held in Fayetteville on 19-24 Nov. 1939, commemorated the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Scottish Highlanders in the Cape Fear Valley as well as the 150th anniversary of North Carolina's ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the cession of the western lands that became Tennessee, and the chartering of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Dignitaries including Governor Clyde R. Hoey spoke at the festival, but its lasting legacy was that playwright Paul Green wrote The Highland Call, the second of his outdoor "symphonic dramas," for the occasion. The play dealt with the Scottish settlement in the Cape Fear Valley and was a blend of history, music, spectacle, and social commentary. A second Scottish festival was held from 14 Oct. to 2 Nov. 1940, but despite ongoing interest in Cumberland County's Scottish heritage, the festival did not remain an annual event, being overshadowed by similar festivals elsewhere in the state.


Emily Ann Colandson, Scottish Highland Games in America (1986).

John A. Oates, The Story of Fayetteville and the Upper Cape Fear (3rd ed., 1981).

Additional Resources:

The Cape Fear Valley Scottish Festival, City Auditorium, Fayetteville, N.C., Souvenir Program, Second Autumn Season, October 14-November 2, 1940:

Origin - location: