As I approach the old polo grounds of Oak Brook for the Highland Games, an older Scottsman walks to me and asks, “What is the only thing a Scottsman wears under his kilt?” I look at the sky and am not sure how to actually answer this question. I turn and look at the gentleman and say, “I have no idea.” He looks at me with a smile and chuckles, “His wife’s lipstick.”
I continue walking through the entrance and soon realize that I am one of the smallest people here; like my Irish heritage, I feel like a true leprechaun. The Highland Games are a true celebration of what it’s like to be Scottish. They pride themselves on gratification, and today is a day where, like the Irish with St. Patrick’s Day, everybody is Scottish.
From events ranging from the knobby knee contest to rugby, and the infamous throwing games themselves, there is no wonder why this festival attracts a large crowd every year. As soon as I walk through the entrance I am able to see just about every item of Scottish heritage imaginable.
The festival has booths of kilts makers, traditional Scottish fiddle music, dancers that quickly move their feet over swords and big burly lads and lasses that are able to throw weights the mass of a supermodel twenty feet across a field.
There is no need for security at an event like this; because let’s be honest, you would be an idiot to try to commit a crime where the average athlete is 6’5” and 295 lbs. Once you get over the initial intimidation from the size of the athletes, the festival is an absolute delight. Everyone in attendance is here to have a great time and ensure that you have a wonderful taste of Scottish hospitality. From the announcers explaining the events and the various flavors of Haggis, to a great glass of $5 lemonade. Having been a beautiful day in June, one could not ask for a better stage to be presented with a
different culture. The St. Andrew’s Foundation did a great job and pulling together a great festival and providing everyone a truly wonderful experience that everyone in Chicagoland can enjoy.