Last March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Chicago Scots announced with regret that we would press “pause” on all our in-person events until we were absolutely certain we could host them safely. Unfortunately, that time has not yet come.
We all want and need to gather again with family and friends, but COVID-19 continues to be cruel, vicious, devastating and deadly. We are not convinced that it is possible to host events of the quality and authenticity we all desire and demand without putting people – attendees, vendors, participants, our broad Scottish community, the people who live and work at Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care or you – in harm’s way.
When COVID-19 reared its ugly head, it became clear to our Board of Governors that we needed to cancel our 2020 Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Although this was the right and responsible decision, the Board were concerned that many of us would suffer by way of severed connections to culture, community, identity and home. So we pivoted and met not in person, but in cyberspace. We knew it wouldn’t be quite the same as the real thing, but we seized the opportunity to approach the event from a different perspective; to hear and learn about the roots, traditions and features of Highland Games; and to get to know some of the personalities that make our Games such unique experiences. We wouldn’t allow COVID-19 to loosen the ties that bind us as a community.
With every fond and strong hope, we expected a resumption of something like “normal service” by now. We expected to be in full swing, deep into arrangements to host our 35th annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Itasca and in person on June 18 and 19, 2021. Unfortunately this is not the case. And it will not be the case. Circumstances will not permit it. Laws will not permit it. Most of all, our refusal to risk the health and safety of any Chicago Scot will not permit it. For now, our in-person events must remain on “pause.” Therefore, we regret to announce that the Chicago Scots will not host our 2021 Scottish Festival & Highland Games in June. We will continue to monitor all metrics and projections. And, whether it’s later this year or into next year, when we are certain it is safe to “unpause” our in-person events, please be assured that we will.
This is disappointing news. Our Board and staff share your disappointment. But, to do otherwise would be irresponsible. We must stay apart today, so that we can gather tomorrow. And, when we do gather, we shall roll three years’ worth of fun into one mighty shindig for the ages.
Until then, please stay safe.
Chicago Scots 2020 Virtual Scottish Festival and Highland Games
In case you missed it check out the 2020 Virtual Scottish Festival and Highland Games! Due to COVID-19, the event was held virtually for the first time ever.