image030Experience the best of Scotland without leaving Chicago at the 28th Annual Scottish Festival & Highland GamesJune 20-21, 2014 at Hamilton Lakes in Itasca, Illinois. The festival is open to the public on Friday, June 20 from 4:00pm – 10:00pm and Saturday, June 21 from 8:00am – 9:00pm. The CHICAGO SCOTS invite everyone to be Scottish for this weekend-long annual summer celebration. Offering an extensive array of unique Scottish traditions, revelry, and culture for the whole family! 

“This is the largest and best Scottish festival in the Midwest,” said Gus Noble, President of the CHICAGO SCOTS. “We pride ourselves on making families feel like they’ve been transported to Scotland for a weekend of fun while enjoying a unique opportunity to learn more about Scottish culture.”

The festival kicks off Friday, June 20 with exhibits and vendors open from 4:00pm – 10:00pmFriday evening Highland Dance competition, Heavy Athletics, Rugby Exhibition, Friday Night Fling, crowning of the Heather Queen and Court and a Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-Lee), a lively celebration of traditional and contemporary Celtic music, from 7:00-10:00pm on the Celtic rock stage.

The festival continues Saturday, June 21 from 8:00am – 9:00pm and features:  Champion Supreme Piping and Drumming competition; Heavy Athletics U.S. Open Championship featuring traditional Scottish contests including the Caber Toss (flipping 20-foot, 140-pound tree trunk), the 22-pound Hammer Throw, the Sheaf Toss (flipping a bale of hay over a high bar) and the Clachnert (throwing a 16-pound river stone); Highland Dance competition; Rugby Sevens Highland Challenge; Coerver Cup 3v3 youth soccer tournament; Dogs of Scotland and other animal presentations; Genealogy and cultural exhibits; Parade of Clan Tartans; Children’s activities including mini golf, crafts and carnival attractions; and attendee competitions including the Kilted Mile Fun Run/Walk, British Car Show, Haggis Hurling Contest for women, Knobbly Knees contest for men, Haggis Eating Contest and Shortbread Contest. Attendees will also enjoy musical performances on the Celtic Rock Stage, Whisky tastings and seminars, traditional Scottish or American cuisine and shopping in the Celtic Marketplace. The festivities culminate with the Closing Ceremonies and Massed Bands Show, a breath-taking spectacle of 1,000 bagpipers and drummers, all joined in performing several traditional musical selections including Amazing Grace.

Friday-Children 12 and under are FREE; Adults $12.00

Saturday– Children under 2 are FREE; Children ages 3-12 $5.00; Adults $20.00

Two Day Pass – Children under 2 are FREE; Children ages 3-12 $5.00; Adults $30.00

Patron Weekend Pass (Family Friendly)- $150 This two-day pass includes entry into the festival (for 2 adults & 2 children), premier seating inside the Patron Tent, complimentary food and beverages, and a private access VIP Parking Pass.

Patron Weekend Pass (21 & Over)- $125 This two-day pass includes entry for one individual into the festival, premier seating inside the Patron Tent, complimentary food and beverages (including beer – not unlimited), and a private access VIP Parking Pass.

The festival will be held at Hamilton Lakes, Itasca, Illinois which is located at I-290 and Thorndale Avenue.

Parking will be available on pavement in parking garages. Parking will be $5 per vehicle for parking on both Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21 or you can purchase a two-day parking pass for $8.

For more information, event schedules, competition registration forms or to purchase tickets, visit or call (708) 447-5092.

The CHICAGO SCOTS would like to thank the following corporate sponsors and in-kind donors:  American Airlines, American Veteriary Medicine Foundation, Belhaven Ale, Hamilton Partners, Illinois Arts Council, Nike B. Whitcomb Associates, Radio Disney AM 1300, Sterling Engineering, Village of Itasca, Westin Hotel of Itasca, and WhiskyLive.

The CHICAGO SCOTS celebrate Scottish identity on behalf of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society. Established in 1845, the Society is the oldest 501(c)3 charity in Illinois. The Society nourishes Scottish identity through service, fellowship and celebration of Scottish culture. In addition to organizing initiatives to promote Scottish culture, the Society offers a range of elder care services at our Scottish Home. The CHICAGO SCOTS welcome everyone who is Scottish by birth, by heritage or simply by inclination.

We guarantee that the proceeds from the festival directly support the mission of the Society including the Scottish Home. We are seeking support from you, our attendees, participants, volunteers, vendors and sponsors to ensure that the festival will continue to be Chicago’s premiere showcase for Scottish heritage, arts and culture.