If you’re a fan of “The Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond,” – and who isn't? – you’ll love the Roscoe-sponsored Midwest Pipe Band Association Competition which headlines Chicago’s 2018 Scottish Festival & Highland Games next month.
This family-friendly, two-day annual festival will open to a skirl of the pipes at 1 p.m., June 15 at Hamilton Lakes, 1 Pierce Place in Itasca. The festival continues from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 16 and features a wide variety of activities and attractions from whisky tasting and Celtic rock to highland dance, rugby games, and a Scottish petting zoo. Don’t miss the chance to trace your ancestry at the genealogy and clan tartan booths, or browse the festival’s Celtic market, where you can buy everything Scottish, whether it’s a kilt, shortbread, soccer jerseys or haggis.
Celebrating its 32nd year in operation this summer in “Aye-tasca,” Illinois, The Scottish Festival & Highland Games is presented by Chicago Scots, North America’s largest Scottish cultural organization.
Service, Fellowship and Scottish Culture
Chicago Scots promotes and nurtures Scottish identity through "service, fellowship and celebration of Scottish culture.” They are also recognized as the oldest 501c3 charity in Illinois since their inception in 1845 as the Illinois Saint Andrew Society. All proceeds from the festival support the charity’s Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care home in North Riverside.
Celebrating Our Scottish Roots
The Buik family is proud of its history with Chicago Scots, one that’s lasted almost as long as Roscoe has been in business. In 1911, company co-founder George C. Buik emigrated to the States from his hometown in Dundee, Scotland and went on to start a small, family-run business with partner John P. O’Connell on Chicago’s Roscoe Street. And in 1948, Buik served as Chicago Scots’ president.
His son Donald also served on the Board of Governors, and his grandson and current Roscoe President Jim Buik is a current member, continuing the family tradition of supporting Scottish culture in the Windy City.
It's a tradition that Gus Noble, President of the Chicago Scots and the Illinois Saint Andrew Society, says has included steadfast support of the organization's cultural and charitable efforts. "Their generosity and commitment has resonated through the years," Noble said.
Set to kick off the festival with solo piper competitions, the Midwest Pipe Band Association Competition is the largest of its kind in North America. The competition pits solo and band pipers from sunny California to Newfoundland against each other for the title of Best Pipe Band in North America.
Join Roscoe and Chicago Scots this year at the Scottish Festival & Highland Games, whether you’re Scottish by blood or just love a good haggis-throwing contest, where "having fun in a kilt is not just encouraged, it's compulsory."
Tickets are on sale now at scottishfestivalchicago.org