North American Merrilees Gathering

15-17th June, 2018
Chicago, USA

Gathering Update from Mike & Iain (organizers) - as at 26 March 2018

We are changing venues from Westin Itasca Hotel to the Hyatt Hotel Itasca. The change has been made for convenience and expense in favor of our members. If you have made a reservation at the Westin Hotel you can keep it or cancel it. Sorry for the change but the amount of financial commitment the Westin wants is unreasonable.

The Hyatt is a much closer walk to where the games are being held. And the cost of the meeting rooms and catering of dinner is a lot lower.

Every attendee needs to register for a hotel room by May 1st in order to get the discounted rate. King size rooms are $108 per night and a Double is $118. Please use this link when booking The Hyatt Hotel Itasca. Once you enter a date range, you'll see a Special Rates section. Click on special rates and select "corporate or group code". Enter code "G-SC24" - the name of our group is the Merrilees Clan.

The cost of the attending the Gathering is $70US per person. It includes the cost of Saturday night dinner, meeting rooms, Highland Games Tickets, and Friday night Celidh. The Gathering Fee should be mailed to Mike Mirrilees no later than April 25th (see Mike's email for contact details).

The cost of the Golf Tournment is $30US per person.

Mike has emailed all attendees & interested parties. Please see the email for more details. Contact Mike directly if you have any questions Mike Mirrilees

The Gathering

The next big Merrilees Gathering will be held on 15, 16, & 17th June, 2018 in Chicago during the Chicago Highland Games.

We have renamed the international gathering to be a North American gathering, as there weren't enough attendees for an international gathering. All members, near & far, are still welcome! And the itinerary is still the same.

The event organizers are Mike Mirrilees (Clan Chief) and Iain Mirrilees (Mid-Western USA Chieftain). Both reside in Chicago, so will be able to provide a lot of local knowledge.

A hospitality suite will be made available throughout the gathering at The Westin Chicago Northwest Hotel in Itasca, Illinois. Itasca is a suburb to the west of Chicago which is easily accessible by train within 40 minutes. The Highland Games are also held on site at the Hamilton Lakes. The games will be entertaining for both adults and children.

Chicago is also a fun city to visit for those that will come early or stay over. Museums, restaurants, micro breweries, and architectural tours on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

Iain Mirrilees, cousin Eric Westman, & Mike Mirrilees

Programme of Events

Friday - 15 June 2018

Meet & Greet
A hospitality suite will be available from noon till midnight, where we can get acquainted or reacquainted as the case may be.
The opening ceremonies for the Highland Games also start in the afternoon.

Saturday - 16 June 2018

Highland Games
The Highland Games will be in full swing, featuring the heavy athletic, Scottish cultural events, highland dancing, haggis eating, sheep herding dog competition, and participation in the parade of Clans & Tartans. There will be many food vendors catering for both Scottish and American tastebuds.
More information to come for those wishing to participate in the games.

Ceilidh Evening
A group photo will be organised for the evening, where we will also enjoy a Ceilidh evening with dinner & dancing. We will have a suite for those that find the music too loud that will be more conducive to conversation.

Sunday - 17 June 2018

Golf Tournament
The tournament will be held at the Salt Creek Golf Course, Itasca, Illinois. Transportation to & from the golf course will be provided for the short 2 mile trip from the hotel.
The tournament is open to all family members of all ability levels. And a handicap system will be employed so that everyone playing has a chance to win.
Play will begin at 7:00am, and will consist of 9 holes so golfers can also attend the group trip to Chicago leaving later in the morning.
Fees are $30 inclusive of cart which is required.
The winner receives custody of the Bob Merrilees Claret Jug until the next tournament.
If you are interested to play, please contact Mike Mirrilees.

Family Time
Later in the morning will be a group trip into Chicago.

BBQ at Mike & Bunny's
A barbeque will be hosted at the home of Mike & Bunny Mirrilees, followed by games and a bonfire!

We want this to be an event you will attend. If you have any suggestions for what could be included in itinerary please email us directly. Please share these details with your family.

Travel Information


The Hyatt Hotel Itasca
- King size room $108 US/night
- Double room $118 US/night
Use the link above to book. Once you enter a date range, you'll see a Special Rates section. Click on special rates and select "corporate or group code". Enter code "G-SC24" - the name of our group is the Merrilees Clan.

The Westin Chicago Northwest Hotel
- Free shuttle to any location within 5 miles, which includes the train station
- Click here to make your hotel reservations, register under the name "Merrilees Gathering, reference Chicago Highland Games & sponsor is the St Andrews Society"

More accommodation information to come.


Activities and museum available in Chicago and the surrounding areas.
* Chicago Highland Games
* Navy Pier - Events Calendar
* Field Museum of Natural History
* Museum of Science and Industry
* Chicago Art Institute
* Adler Palnetarium
* Museum of Contemporary Art
* DuSable Museum of African American Art
* Smart Museum of Art
* Cruise Chicago - Architectural Tour
* Millennium Park Attractions

More activity information to come.


Hamilton Lakes, Itasca ...
- 20mins from O'Hare International Airport - approx $22 by Uber or $50 by taxi
- 45mins to Chicago by train - $6 each way

More transport information to come.

Register of Attendance/Interest

Please register your attendance or interest in attending the North American Merrilees Gathering in Chicago.
This will ensure you are kept up-to-date on all information regarding the gathering.

Click here to register via MailChimp

Chicago Highland Games


Accommodation from $99US
Gathering Fee $70US
... including ceilidh, Highland Games tickets, meeting rooms, & Saturday night dinner
Golf tournament $30US
Family trip to Chicago $?
BBQ at Mike & Bunny's $?

More details will be added as they comes to hand

Costs are in US dollars
Costs are approx. only

Hamilton Lakes, Itasca

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