World’s largest service organization to be featured as Rotary International President receives the salute from 1,000 bagpipers—all Rotary members invited.

Chicago Scots, Illinois’s first and oldest charity, will celebrate the Scottish roots of Rotary at the 38th annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games, June 14-15 at the DuPage County Fairgrounds by presenting Rotary International President, Gordon McInally of South Queensferry, Scotland with the “Salute to the Chieftain.”

McInally will lead the “Parade of Tartans,” which showcases Scottish families, clans, and organizations. The Chicago Scots will feature Rotary International as the “Honored Clan.” All Rotary members are enthusiastically invited and encouraged to march with President McInally, who is one of only two Scots to be elected to lead Rotary International in the organization’s 119-year history.

The Scottish Festival hosts North America’s largest bagpiping championship. At just before dusk on Saturday, June 15, when all the piping and drumming competitions are done, the entire festival will gather for the iconic “massed bands.”

“The massed bands is something everyone should experience,” said Gus Noble OBE, President of Chicago Scots and member of the Rotary Club of Chicago, Rotary One. “One thousand bagpipers and drummers will offer a salute to President McInally. It’ll send shivers down spines, make hairs stand up, put smiles on faces, and warmth in hearts.

Gordon McInally

“My one-year term as Rotary’s president, which I’ve enjoyed and appreciated immensely, concludes at the end of June. The Highland Games will be a terrific send-off. My identity as a Scot is very important to me, so it’ll be a great honor to receive the salute of the pipers. I hope Rotary members will join me at the Festival,” said McInally.

Rotary was founded in Chicago in 1905 by lawyer Paul Harris and three business associates. Harris married Jean Thomson, who was from Scotland. Harris built a house for Jean on the south side of Chicago, naming it “Comely Bank” after the part of Edinburgh where Jean was raised.

In a radio address to Rotary’s annual convention, Paul Harris announced: “What we are trying to do in Rotary is make the words of [Scottish poet] Robert Burns come true.” He continued to quote Burns’s poem, A Man’s a Man for All That, “the time shall come, when Man to Man, the world over, shall brothers be for all that.”

For details to register contact your local Rotary Club President or reach out to Meghan Larson at

38th Annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games
DuPage County Fairgrounds
Wheaton, Illinois

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