Burns dinner continues popularity

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NEW GLASGOW — Celebrating the Bard of Scotland’s birthday has been a popular event for the Na Gaisgich Pipes and Drums Society.

The Na Gaisgich Society and the St. Andrews Society of Pictou County will co-host 2019 edition that has been scheduled for Saturday at Summer Street in New Glasgow. Reception is at 5:30 p.m., dinner 6 to 8 p.m., and a dance and music by Mike & the MacPhersons.

Organizer Robbie MacInnis of the Na Gaisgich Society and pipe band said the trend is consistent with the most recent Feast of St. Andrew’s celebrated last fall. He said he has noticed a steady increase in ticket sales for the dinner. In a community that prides itself on being the birthplace of New Scotland, the event’s popularity is no surprise.

“We had 200 people at Summer Street for the Feast of St. Andrew’s and we have 200 tickets already sold for the Burns dinner,” he said. “It’s a sellout crowd but we’re able to print off a few more tickets to accommodate more people.”

Entertainment during the dinner will include piping, fiddling and dancing that is associated with Robert Burns, a poet and farmer who was born in 1759 and lived in the west area of Lowland of Scotland called Ayr.

His fame stems from his sometimes earthy but brilliant poetry written in both English and Scottish languages, and his penetrating insights of the things many might take for granted, as well as his premature death at the height of his fame in July 1796.

Serving haggis, considered Scotland’s national dish, is among the highlights of the evening, along with the accompanying Address to the Haggis.

Various tartans will abound and there will be an opportunity to sample single malt Scotch whiskey and listen to recitations of Burns’ work.

Burns’ exact birthday was questioned for a time and later determined to be January 25, 1759. Rabbie Burns night takes place as close as possible to his birth date.

The St. Andrew Society in Pictou County, as it is now called, was founded in 1921 and is creeping toward its centenary.

Those wishing to attend the dance only can do so for $10. Tickets for both events can be purchased by contacting MacInnis at 902-301-9934.


Piper Robbie MacInnis is in full Scottish regalia on the eve of the annual Rabbie Burns dinner slated for Saturday at Summer Street. (Goodwin photo)