We still sing his words to celebrate the start of the new year and on Jan. 25 the local Scotish community and friends will sing Auld Lang Syne and Happy Birthday to the Bard of Ayrshire.
Born 255 years ago, Robbie Burns is still recognized as Scotland’s favourite son. To celebrate his birth, communities around the world nosh on Burn’s favourite dish consisting of sheep’s pluck, imbibe whisky and read poetry to toast the Bard, and Vernon is no exception.
Hosted by the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band and the Arran Campbell Memorial Youth Pipe Band, this year’s Robbie Burns celebration is a special one as it actually falls on the Bard’s birthday, Jan. 25, said Norm Crerar, with the KHPB.
“The Robbie Burns dinner will be a gala affair, celebrating 255 years of Robbie Burns, his life and his poetry,” he said. “Folks attending the celebration will be encouraged to participate in the singing and dancing and to enjoy the stories and poems of Robbie Burns.”
Taking place at the Vernon Recreation Centre auditorium, the event of song, dancing, pipes and drums will start with dinner and Burns’ Address to the Haggis.
“The piping in of the haggis and the toast to the haggis is the signal to eat and what a spread we have this year,” said Crerar. “Red Barn Catering is going out of their way to provide the haggis, roast beef for those wanting to leave the haggis for true haggis lovers, steaming vegetables, abundant salads, sweets and coffee/tea.”
Oat cakes are also being prepared and will be on the tables during a performance by Kilt 47, which is made up of members of the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band.
“This Celtic-folk band will be performing from the time the doors open until the haggis is piped in,” said Crerar.
After dinner, the Kalamalka Highlanders and the Arran Campbell Memorial Youth Pipe bands will lead off the entertainment that will include Highland dancers and Scottish Country Dancers.
“The KHPB is reaching out to other ethnic groups to attend in their national costumes and be part of celebrating this Scottish tradition,” said Crerar.
Proceeds from the evening will go in part to support the Arran Campbell Memorial Youth Pipe Band.
Tickets are $37 for adults and $20 for youth and children under 18 years (taxes included) and are available from the Ticket Seller at 250-549-SHOW (7469) or online at www.ticketseller.ca.