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posted: 6/14/2013 4:40 PM

27th annual Itasca festival celebrates Scottish culture

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  • The caber toss is one of the field sports at the Highland Games and Scottish Festival, being held this yaer at Hamilton Lakes in Itasca.

       The caber toss is one of the field sports at the Highland Games and Scottish Festival, being held this yaer at Hamilton Lakes in Itasca.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer 2005

  • A bagpipe band plans at the Highland Games and Scottish Festival.

      A bagpipe band plans at the Highland Games and Scottish Festival.
    Daily Herald Photo/June 2006

 
By Mackenzie Dye
mdye@dailyherald.com

Chicago's Scottish clans are ironing their kilts and cleaning their bagpipes for the weekend.

The 27th annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games will welcome not just Chicago's Scottish folk, everyone is invited, to shop at unique vendors, eat haggis and learn more about the Scottish heritage.

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The festival runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 14, and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, at Hamilton Lakes, at Thorndale Avenue and Route 53 in Itasca.

The event, which welcomes those of Scottish heritage or not, is packed with attractions, including a British car show, a Celtic marketplace, athletic competitions, mini-golf and Celtic crafting for children, concerts, a haggis-eating contest and a whiskey tasting.

"There's a little bit of everything," said Chicago Scots Director of Programming Julia Miller. "Anyone who wants to come out will find something interesting."

Those looking to join the festivities have their choice of ticket options. On Friday, children age 12 and under are free and adult tickets are $12. On Saturday, children under 2 go free, ages 3 to 12 are $5, and adult tickets are $20., according to the event's website.

A limited number of Patron Weekend Passes will be available for purchase at the door.

The $150 family Patron Weekend Pass includes admission for two adults and two children, premier seating inside the patron tent, complimentary food and beverages, and a private access VIP parking pass.

The $100 21 and over Patron Weekend Pass includes admission for one, the premier seating, complimentary food and beverages with a limit on beer, and private access VIP parking.

The Scottish Festival and Highland Games is an event organized by Chicago Scots, one of the largest Scottish cultural organizations in the world, according to the organization's website.

For information, event schedules and competition registration forms, visit chicagoscots.org.

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