Saturday, July 4, 2015

70 Years of 4th of July Breakfast in The Park & 50 Years of The Grateful Dead #FourthOfJuly

How do you celebrate the 4th of July? When I was a kid in Cincinnati, we got up in the wee hours of the morning to have breakfast in the park with 4 generations of families that were my grandma's friends from way back in the day. Would you believe they're STILL meeting up and 2015 marks the 70th year?!


1947--First photo of Fourth of July Breakfast in the Park
Front row--Jill Canter, Jan Heis, Lawrence Britten and Bonnie
Second row--Alice Canter, Jane Reeder, Fred Heis, Eddie Canter and Barry
Third row--Cliff Reeder, Judy Heis and Betsy Britten

1976--Third Generation--John Buswell, Bonnie Rosene (recognize ChiIL Mama?), Carolyn Rosene and Amy Buswell

2013--John Buswell teaching his son, Nathaniel how to fry bacon (It's a time honored tradition that the guys do the cooking in iron skillets on the camp fire.)

2011--Families continuing to enjoy Breakfast in the Park (ChiIL Mama & her parents & kids are on the right & center)

Here in Chicago today, we're missing the 70th breakfast in the park two states away, but we're celebrating our own epic 50th anniversary with about 80,000 friends and fans. Today we began with a low key family back yard brunch, snappers & day parachute fireworks. The rest of the day and evening we'll be ChiILin' in Chi, IL with The Grateful Dead & Trey Anastasio, front man for the band, Phish, and a bunch of our friends from in and out of town who came for the final shows. Tonight, we'll have a stellar view of the Navy Pier fireworks from our seat at the Soldier Field show and there are sure to be fireworks galore from the show as well.

Late night our Avondale/Logan Square neighborhood explodes with hours of DIY fireworks till the wee hours of the morning. Then tomorrow we get up and do it all again. It's sure to be an epic and memorable weekend. Stay safe and have a great time celebrating our country's birthday!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

TONIGHT: Blue Man Group and CYSO Collaborate In a FREE Show At Millennium Park at 6:30pm


Free Outdoor Concert Event Features Selections of Popular Classical Music Performed with Blue Man Group

Photo credits:  “BMG in Millennium Park with CYSO” – credit Ed Spinelli

Blue Man Group, in conjunction with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), will return to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for a collaborative performance on Wednesday, July 1 at 6:30 p.m. The free public performance will feature a program of full orchestral works performed by CYSO’s inaugural summer orchestra, as well as collaborative performances and thrilling surprises with Blue Man Group.

“Last year’s concert was great and this year’s will be bigger and better,” says CYSO Music Director Allen Tinkham. “The partnership between Blue Man Group and CYSO brings a highly entertaining and innovative spin to a classical music performance that our musicians relish and audiences won’t want to miss.”

At the July 1 event, Blue Man Group and CYSO will unite for a medley of classical favorites by Amilcare Ponchielli, Franz von Suppé and Richard Wagner. CYSO is also scheduled to perform three full length classical works: Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances,” op. 45, Dmitri Kabalevsky’s “Colas Breugnon,” op. 24: Overture and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Capriccio Italien,” op. 45.

The Blue Man Group and CYSO performance event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit:

About Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras
CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra has earned an international reputation as a premier orchestral ensemble featuring extraordinary young musicians from the Chicago area. Allen Tinkham was appointed Music Director of CYSO in 2001. During his tenure, CYSO has won eight of its 11 ASCAP National Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music, as well as four Illinois Council of Orchestras awards (two Programming of the Year Awards and two Youth Orcehstra of the Year Awards). Under Tinkham’s direction, CYSO ensembles have performed at Orcehstra Hall, Millennium Park, Ravinia, Carnegie Hall and several international locales. CYSO has taken the stage three times at Lollapalooza, Chicago’s legendary rock music festival, the first time in August 2007 when it became the first ever classical music ensemble to do so. They will team up with The National’s Bryce Dessner for a May 17 concert at Orchestra Hall and Ben Folds at the Chicago Theatre June 6.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) has provided musical education through orchestral programs and performance opportunities of the highest caliber since 1946. 

CYSO currently serves 475 Chicago area musicians ages 7-18 through three full orchestras, two string orchestras, multiple steel orchestras and supplemental programs that include chamber music ensembles, music theory and composition. It also reaches the diverse population of Chicago Public School students, educators and community members each year through its Music Pathways program. Music Pathways includes an In-School Residency Program with several partner Chicago Public elementary schools, Clinics for partner Chicago Public high schools, free Community Concerts, a Private Lesson Program for current CYSO students and Neighborhood Ensembles. CYSO, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is investing in the future of music and the next generation of leaders. For more information, visit or call 312.939.2207. CYSO also can be followed on Twitter at Like CYSO on Facebook at

About Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group is a unique and thrilling multi-sensory experience that fuses innovative theatrical spectacle and powerful original music with hilarious comedy to create a performance experience unlike any other. The iconic, silent, inquisitive Blue Man character has remained consistent since the show’s opening, but the world he reacts to is continuously changing, allowing for a production that continuously evolves. One of the world’s most popular theatrical productions, today’s Blue Man Group is a blend of signature material that has been in the show since the opening, as well as newer passages that examine the influence of technology on today’s world with a funny and perceptive look at contemporary communication vehicles. The performance then closes with a pulsating finale that has audiences up and out of their seats, featuring an original Blue Man Group music score.

Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune gave the show a Four Star rating and said the material was “brilliantly revamped” and “truly joyous.” After seeing the new material, Hedy Weiss for the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “The show's creators have cleverly updated the production with new wizardry while retaining its essential mind-set.” Chicago Parent editor Tamara L. O'Shaughnessy said “the coolest blue guys in Chicago just got cooler.”

Currently, Blue Man Group theatrical shows can be seen in New York, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, Berlin and on tour throughout the U.S.

The company’s music, featuring custom made instruments and signature, percussive sound, can be heard on five albums, including the Grammy-nominated “Audio,” as well as various film and television projects. As the company grows, it remains true to its vision of providing exciting experiences in a variety of media, appealing to a broad range of age groups and cultural backgrounds.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Netflix Families Get Old School With The New Cool #Netflix #StreamTeam #Ad #TBT

Zoinks! Here at ChiIL Mama, we've always loved introducing our kids to the original classics from our own childhoods, when we all had to wait for Saturday morning for the good cartoons! I mean, what beats the classic Scooby Doo episodes?! It's a hoot to rediscover childhood favs anew through the eyes of your own kids.

Here's a little decade skipping #TBT action with the "way back machine" when my whole family rocked Scooby & the gang for our son's themed birthday party, staring the boy as the dog and the dog as a boy! Check out Dugan as Scooby Doo, the dog as Fred, Sage as Velma, and me as Daphne, somewhere around 2005! My husband, Dug, as Shaggy must have been taking this shot.

As much as we like to go all old school in our pop culture training, some of the next gen spin offs and updates are loads of fun too, like Inspector Gadget and Danger Mouse

So settle in with your littles for some now and then comparison watching. And when you're done cavorting down animated memory lane, check out some rockin' "New on Netflix" shows like our fam fav here at ChiIL Mama, Dragons: Race to the Edge: Season 1 or get multi culti with Gallina Pintadita (Now streaming in Spanish!)

This month our Netflix Stream Team Theme is: Reboot Your Throwback 

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Netflix Stream Team. We've been compensated for sharing monthly posts with our readers.  As always, all opinions are our own. ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama next month, for more Netflix fun in Chi, IL and beyond!

Check out the fun family favs below from our friends at Netflixs.

When you're done exploring the original classics & their contemporary counterparts, check out something new.

New on Netflix for Kids and Families

 Gallina Pintadita (Now streaming in Spanish!)
 Bindi's Boot Camp (6/15)

Here at ChiIL Mama we adore Hiccup & Toothless so we're so excited for this all new Netflix series:

Read more below from our friends over at DreamWorksTV, and learn how to get crafty while you watch! Even my tween was digging these. Hiccup and Toothless from the beloved “How to Train Your Dragon” films are back in an all new television series "Dragons: Race to the Edge" available now only on Netflix. In honor of its release, DreamWorksTV gathered the best DIYers on YouTube to create a brand-new dragon-inspired DIY series called “DragonStyle.”

 The premiere episode kicks off with a how-to video on creating a Toothless Phone Case with YouTube creator Lily, otherwise known as Coolricebunnies. You’ll learn all of the best tips and tricks for adding just the right amount of flair to your cell phone:

Tune in every Sunday to see new DIY experiments, including tips and tricks for painting “dragon style” nails as well as getting an Astrid-inspired look!

For more DreamWorksTV, visit

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Netflix Stream Team. We've been compensated for sharing monthly posts with our readers.  As always, all opinions are our own. ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama next month, for more Netflix fun in Chi, IL and beyond!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Rock Healthy Habits The Girl Scout Way With Free Downloads And The #TogetherCounts Campaign #HealthyHabits #Sponsored #GirlScouts

Check Out 
The Together Counts Campaign 
Via The Girl Scouts 
of the Nation’s Capital 

Here at ChiIL Mama, our family has 3 generations of Girl Scouts. My mom was a scout back in the 40's, when the only kind of Girl Scout cookies were Trefoils. I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout in the 70's, and now my 12 year old daughter has been a Brownie, Junior and now a Cadet over the past 6 years. That's why we were more than happy to be asked to join with The Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital to promote their Together Counts Campaign. 

ChiIL Mama's daughter, Sage, as a Brownie

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network and we're pleased to partner up with Together Counts/Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital for this sponsored post. We have been compensated for sharing this information with our readers. As always, all opinions are our own.

Most people instantly think cookies, like the iconic Thin Mints, when they hear the name Girl Scouts. But Girl Scouts also provide STEM training, multicultural and cultural events, and camping. Sure the cookies are pretty great, but Girl Scouts troops are also pretty awesome at encouraging girls to develop leadership skills and healthy, balanced living.

In partnership with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, Girl Scouts developed three "healthy habits" booklets to easily incorporate energy balance into meetings, outings, events and adventures. The free booklets help guide girls as they learn to lead active, healthy lifestyles. 

Through the use of these free resources for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors, Girl Scout volunteers and families can guide girls in fun, easy ways to achieve "energy balance." 

My daughter's Cadets troop just did both the Get Moving! with Healthy Habits workbook and the WOW! Wonders of Water with Healthy Habits. We highly recommend both. Check out these fabulous resources right here as a free download.

  • WOW! Wonders of Water with Healthy Habits - girls discover the many forms and paths that water takes and how to protect it. They also learn how to engage in teamwork, speak effectively to convey a message, and inspire others

The Together Counts™ campaign is a nationwide program by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to inspire active and healthy living via physical activity and nutrition, a fundamental underpinning of efforts to reduce obesity. The principle behind the program is called Energy Balance, which just means balancing the calories we consume with the calories we expend. 

Achieving Energy Balance outdoors is easier than ever during the warm summer months. It's a pretty easy concept to follow Energy In is the calories you get from eating and drinking. Energy Out is the calories you burn from physical activities.

*Health and fitness have been part of Girl Scouting since girls ran foot races in 1912!*

Camp Out
Camping is essential to Girl Scouts mission. It is about the outdoors, and developing a deep appreciation for nature. Girls enjoy camping with their troop or attending a Girl Scout day and evening or resident sleep-away camp. From high adventure with kayaking, archery and rock climbing to traditional camps with crafts, singing, hiking and cooking over an open fire, Girl Scout camps give girls an opportunity to grow, explore, and have fun under the guidance of caring, trained adults. 

Find your local council to enroll girls in camp programs.
Girl Scouts’ leadership program is girl-led. And Girl Scouts sure do a lot with guidance from caring adult mentors! From national badge programs to council-wide events, each council offers a variety of exciting program opportunities for girls of all ages.

Help Out
I've been a volunteer for my daughter's troop for the past 6 years. Volunteers are supported with program level and subject training courses online and in classroom settings. There is a lot of peer-to-peer support and mentoring, and quality publications to support the delivery of high quality programs. 

Get Social With Girl Scouts Social Media, Free Downloads & Handy Links Below:
  • Healthy Habits booklets download: Here you’ll be able to download three free booklets for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors.  Girl Scout volunteers and families can guide girls in fun, easy ways to achieve "energy balance." 
  • Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital Twitter: On Twitter, GSNC shares council information including awards, resources, highlights from council events and volunteering opportunities. 
  • Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital Facebook: Similar to Twitter, the GSNC Facebook page shares photo albums of troop activities, news from around the region, and partner content from Together Counts. 
  • Together Counts Website –The website is consumer friendly—aimed at parents and educators and provides resources, tips, recipes and more.
  • Together Counts Blog – The Together Counts blog is the main source of all consumer-friendly news including HWCF campaigns, announcements and content from HWCF partners around the topic of healthy eating habits and incorporating more physical activity. 
  • Together Counts Twitter – On Twitter, Together Counts shares everything from digital assets (video, infographics) to industry or conference news related to food in addition to campaign and partner news.
  • Together Counts Pinterest – Together Counts’ resource for sharing recipe inspiration from across the network, family activity ideas and pins from partners that relate to family eating and activity including Girl Scouts, Healthy Dining Finders, etc.

Disclosure: Once again, ChiIL Mama is a proud member of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network and we're pleased to partner up with Together Counts/Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital for this sponsored post. We have been compensated for sharing this information with our readers. As always, all opinions are our own.

Where Will The Wendell August Tracery Envelope Purse Take You? #Review #Ad

Wendell August creates unique, one of a kind gifts 
for grads, dads, and life’s special moments.

Red Carpet Ready:
Here at ChiIL Mama, we're always on the go, covering Chicago's arts, theatre and music scenes. This spring we reviewed numerous theatre openings from Broadway in Chicago spectacles to edgy, award winning storefront theatre productions. We caught London's Royal Ballet, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a plethora of press events.

It's been our great pleasure to have this stylish Wendell August Tracery Envelope Purse along on our adventures. It's tiny but mighty and creates an unforgettable look. 

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is pleased to partner up with Wendell August to review one of their handcrafted gifts. I received a Wendell August product for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. As always, all thoughts are our own.

This envelope handbag is as fitting with dress casual as it is with an evening gown. It features Wendell August's beautiful Tracery design, and it's the perfect size for a cell phone or other small accessories.

Madison Avenue - Tracery Envelope Purse
Aluminum   •   $130.00
Size: 5.75" x 3.5"
Type: Aluminum 

One highlight this spring was the red carpet, world premiere of On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan which is Broadway bound in a few short weeks. My lovely Wendell August Tracery Envelope Purse took me from dressy to dress circle at the gorgeous Oriental Theatre in Chicago. Emilio and Gloria Estefan were there, but I felt like the rock star.

Wendell August is Great for graduations, 
wedding season, and more

Spring and summer have been a whirlwind of graduations, weddings and travel. Sometimes it's a challenge to find a quality gift that will be appreciated for years to come. Wendell August's American-Made Products have a history. They've been handcrafted by artisans in America’s oldest forge since 1923. Each product is still painstakingly crafted in their Pennsylvania workshop using an original 8-step process. 

No two Wendell August items are the same. They're as unique as your friends and family. Their stunning home entertaining collections can be engraved and personalized for weddings, hostess gifts, anniversaries, or just because. 

Their Madison Avenue-Tracery Envelope Purse and jewelry collections are equally great for gifting and for you. Show up in style and leave a lasting impression.

Would you like to be in the know? Follow Wendell August and find out about new releases and sales first.

Get Social With Wendell August:
o   Facebook 
o   Twitter @wendellaugust
o   Instagram @wendellaugust1923

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is pleased to partner up with Wendell August to review one of their handcrafted gifts. I received a Wendell August product for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. As always, all thoughts are our own.

Tweet Tonight 6/26/15 at 6pm CT For Sweet Prizes and Bring Dreamworks Home to Your Home #HomeMovieParty #ad

HOME from Dreamworks Animation and Fox Home Entertainment is hitting Digital HD this Friday, June 26! To celebrate, we are having a Twitter party with director Tim Johnson! 

Home is where the digital downloads are. Whether you're home or away on summer vacation adventures, you can bring Home with you... DreamWorks' Home that is. Come ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama tonight and tweet along with the hashtag #HomeMovieParty.

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is elated to partner up with DreamWorks and Think Jam once again. We have been compensated for sharing this info with our readers. As always, all opinions are our own.

When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word 'Home.'

DreamWorks is preparing 'Home' for Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on July 28.

Supplements will include: Best Party Ever!; Oh's Shake Your Boov Thing; "Feel the Light" by Jennifer Lopez – Music Video; "Feel the Light" by Jennifer Lopez – Lyric Video; Oh's Boovy Jukebox; Oh's Party Planning Tips; This is Being Boov; Almost Home; Testing Lab; Party Play All; Deleted Scenes; Be an Artist!; and Stars of Home.

Suggested list price for the Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D/DVD/Digital HD combo pack is $48.99. Suggested list price for the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo pack is $36.99.

Disclosure: ChiIL Mama is elated to partner up with DreamWorks and Think Jam once again. We have been compensated for sharing this info with our readers. As always, all opinions are our own.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

WIN a Kindle and More: Join the National PTA’s Family Reading Challenge #FamiliesRead #prizes

ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and 
the National PTA
for the Family Reading Challenge 
this summer.
Many will WIN an Amazon Kindle, Amazon Kindle Gift Cards and More!

Disclosure: We're thrilled to partner up with the National PTA's Family Reading Challenge and have been compensated for spreading the word. As always, all opinions are our own.

My family is full of avid readers and writers. I've read to my 2 kids daily from before birth to the tween and teen years. Of course they read on their own, too, but I believe you're never too old to enjoy being read to. Even now, at ages 12 & 14, they love to snuggle up on the couch or in a hammock and hear a great chapter book, and I treasure this time too. It's one of the few times we all turn off the cell phones & electronics and slow down long enough to really hang out together. In a few short years they'll be off with their friends more, then off to college, but I know they'll take a lifelong love of reading and stories with them. It's one of the best gifts I can possibly give them.  

As if reading together isn't reward enough, the National PTA is giving away sweet prizes to encourage families to read together throughout July! Click here to sign up and get all the detail including fun activity ideas to pair with your summer reading.

Reading together as a family is a shared adventure and a chance to talk about characters and plots. My kids geek out on meeting authors and collect and treasure their signed books. Now that my kids are older we're into middle grade and adult fantasy chapter books that the adults in our family are enjoying as much as the kids! It does my soul good to hear the kids beg for "just one more chapter", over and over again as the plot thickens and the pages end in one cliff hanger after another.

Here are a few of our favorites to get you started. We highly recommend author Cornelia Funke for Igraine the Brave, the Inkheart series and the Reckless series. She has excellent books for young and middle grade readers through adults. 

Great Cornelia Funke picks for elementary readers:

My kids loved the book Igraine the Brave so much they named our dog for the protagonist. Igraine the Brave (AKA: Iggy Pup) is 4 now and embodies all the grrrrrrrl power awesomeness of Cornelia Funke's unconventional heroine. 

The Thickety (books 1 & 2) by J.A. White are other new favs of ours.

We're now working our way through all the Tolkin books and the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. 

ChiIL Mama will be rocking the PTA Family Reading Challenge this summer... will YOU?!

 ChiIL out with ChiIL Mama and join this awesome campaign to inspire families to keep learning alive by reading great books together.

Families can participate in the PTA Family Reading Challenge—and win great prizes—by sharing photos, videos and memories that demonstrate how and why reading together is a fun and treasured family activity.
What’s next?
  1. Take the challenge then tell your family and friends.
  2. Start reading! Visit our Family Reading Ideas page for inspiration and FAQ page for more challenge specifics.
  3. Share your progress using #FamiliesRead on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be entered to win prizes.
Happy reading!

Disclosure: We're thrilled to partner up with the National PTA's Family Reading Challenge and have been compensated for spreading the word. As always, all opinions are our own.

Friday, June 19, 2015

FEST ALERT: Today (Friday) And Saturday 6/19 & 20 2015 #‎FamilyFriendly‬ ‪#‎MultiCulti‬

The CHICAGO SCOTS present the

Promoting Chicago's Scottish Tradition, Revelry, and Culture in a Weekend Celebration for the Entire Family!

FEST ALERT--TODAY (FRIDAY) & SATURDAY: Despite the Scottish name, Bonnie, I'm actually German & Swedish, but my husband & 2 kids are a wee bit Scottish! And my 14yo son, Dugan's name is Scottish for "dark haired". We'll be out in Itasca, Illinois this weekend checking out the Chicago Scots' annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games. Follow along vicariously via social media and check back for our photo filled recap next week. Or get your kilt on and come on out and experience it LIVE.

The CHICAGO SCOTS hosts the Midwest’s Largest Scottish Event, the 29th ANNUAL SCOTTISH FESTIVAL & HIGHLAND GAMES, from June 19-20, 2015

 Featuring an extravaganza of activities & attractions—from the Caber Toss to the Highland Dance to the Dogs of Scotland—the family-friendly event is a chance to explore Scottish culture without buying a plane ticket

Lovers of Scottish culture unite! It’s time to iron the kilt and perfect the family shortbread recipe. The CHICAGO SCOTS presents the 29th Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games—the largest of its kind in the Midwest—from June 19-20, 2015 at Hamilton Lakes in Itasca, Illinois. The summer celebration, a beloved tradition for many families, offers the opportunity to experience Scotland’s rich heritage and unique traditions along with some quirky customs. The festivities kick off on Friday, June 19 from 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. and continue Saturday, June 20 from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

“Whether you’re of Scottish descent or simply intrigued by Scottish culture, we invite you to join us. This year’s event promises to be our most exciting celebration of Scottish arts and entertainment, athletics, and culinary specialties yet,” said Gus Noble, President of the CHICAGO SCOTS.  
The festival launches on Friday, June 19 with exhibits and vendors open from 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Highlights include the ever-popular Heavy Athletics Exhibition, a Rugby Exhibition, the Friday Night Fling, and crowning of the Heather Queen and Court. The evening concludes with a Ceilidh (pronounced Kay-Lee), a rousing Celtic music concert featuring contemporary and time-honored favorites, from 7:00-10:00 p.m. on the Celtic rock stage.

The fun continues on Saturday, June 20 from 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Guests will be able to enjoy the thrilling Heavy Athletics U.S. Open Championship including the Caber Toss (with participants flipping 20-foot, 140-pound tree trunk), the 22-pound Hammer Throw, the Sheaf Toss (where athletes launch a bale of hay over a high bar) and the Clachnert (flinging a 16-pound river stone) and participating this year is Matt Vincent current World Champion; lively Mid-West Pipe Band Championship competition, Largest pipe band competition in the Mid-West with over 20 pipe bands and 300 solo performances of pipers and drummers; Highland Dance competition; an intense Rugby Sevens Highland Challenge; and a Coerver Cup 3v3 youth soccer tournament. The Dogs of Scotland, Highland Cattle, and Clydesdale Horses offer a chance to greet some of Scotland’s cutest furry exports. Genealogy and cultural exhibits provide insight into ancestry to kick start research on the family tree. A Parade of Clan Tartans and attendee competitions British Car Show featuring vintage automobiles, Haggis Hurling Contest for women, Knobbly Knees contest for men, Haggis Eating Contest and Shortbread Contest are also perennial favorites. Little ones may play mini golf, create crafts and try mini heavy athletics. Sample Whisky tastings from various vendors. Indulge in traditional Scottish or American cuisine and peruse the Celtic Marketplace, as well as enjoy more live music on the Celtic Rock Stage. The festivities conclude with the Closing Ceremonies and Massed Bands Show, an exhilarating concert featuring 1,000 bagpipers and drummers performing traditional musical selections including Amazing Grace

Entertainment for this year includes: Tim MacDonald – Chicago’s very own Scottish fiddler and Reigning National Champion, Cleghorn – A brand of “Celtic rock” mixes their original songwriting with high energy fiddle and bagpipe tunes, Skerryvore – From across the pond, Scotland’s raw but contemporary band, creating a unique fusion of traditional music and songs with the sounds of rock, pop and funk.

Ticket prices for the 29th Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games are as follows:
Friday-Children 12 and under are FREE; Adults are $12.00
Saturday- Children under 2 are FREE; Children ages 3-12 $5.00; Adults are $20.00
Two Day Pass - Children under 2 are FREE; Children ages 3-12 $5.00; Adults are $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 is held at Hamilton Lakes, Itasca, Illinois, 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 19 and Saturday, June 20 or guests may purchase a two-day parking pass for $8.  

The CHICAGO SCOTS would like to thank the following corporate sponsors and in-kind donors:   Belhaven Ale, Hamilton Partners, Village of Itasca, Highland Titles, Westin Hotel of Itasca, and Hyatt Place Itasca.

For more information visit these links!
Schedule of Events

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

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