The Chicago Scots Reveal New Location for 38th Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games

The event is on Friday, June 14 (1pm-10pm), and Saturday, June 15 (9am-10pm).

By: May. 22, 2024
The Chicago Scots Reveal New Location for 38th Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games
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 Scotland is headed to the DuPage County Fairgrounds! The Chicago Scots are proud to announce the Midwest’s Largest Scottish Event, the 38th Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games, is moving to the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road in Wheaton, on Friday, June 14 (1pm-10pm), and Saturday, June 15 (9am-10pm). This beloved two-day summer kick-off celebration will bring a whole load of Scottish fun, fanfare, music, culture, tradition, skill and athleticism to the Festival’s new home. All proceeds from the weekend will benefit the Chicago Scots’ principal charity, Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care in North Riverside.

Cherished by generations, this family-friendly event attracts 10,000-15,000 attendees annually. The festival features the largest pipe band championship in North America, Scottish heavy athletics like the iconic caber-toss, highland dancing, dogs of Scotland, a kids area and Scottish petting zoo, Celtic rock music, Scottish food & drink, whisky tastings, a classic British car show, a marketplace featuring kilts, candy, jewelry and other authentic Scottish treasures.

The festival features formal competitions and championships like highland dancing, heavy athletics, and bagpiping. Guests will see and hear some of the world’s greatest Grade 1 pipe bands. The festival also features fun competitions, challenges and contests like the hilarious “knobbly knees” contest, the “running of the bairns,” shortbread contests, haggis hurling and haggis eating.  After all the competitions are done, guests can enjoy terrific Celtic folk and rock, especially headliners, Seven Nations, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2024. 

At the Festival, Chicago Scots will recognize and celebrate the Scottish roots of the world’s largest service organization, Illinois-headquartered,Rotary International, whose current President, Gordon McInally is one of only two Scots to be elected to lead Rotary International in the organization’s 119-year history. The Chicago Scots will feature Rotary International as the “Honored Clan” and President McInally will lead the “Parade of Tartans,” which showcases Scottish families, clans, and organizations. All Rotarians are enthusiastically invited and encouraged to march with President McInally. At just before dusk on Saturday, June 15, when all the piping and drumming competitions are done, the entire festival will gather for the incredibly moving “massed bands,” during which President McInally, will receive the “Salute to the Chieftain.” 

“The massed bands is something everyone should experience.” said Gus Noble OBE, President of Chicago Scots. “This event never fails to put wide smiles on faces, lovely warmth in hearts, and proud springs in steps. I love the energy and camaraderie that’s shared by all who attend. The Festival also creates a genuine connection to Scottish culture. Everyone is welcome at the Games. Whether you’re Scottish by birth, by heritage, or simply by inclination, our invitation is to come be Scottish for at least a day. The city of Wheaton has welcomed us with open arms, and we look forward to our most successful Games yet!”

Taking place the weekend of Father’s Day, the event also offers a great and unique way to get outside and make fond memories with dad and father figures alike.


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