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Celebrate haggis, Robbie Burns and all things Scotland with AlgomaTrad

Traditional Robbie Burns Night hosted January 24 in Desbarats
Supplied image of Robbie Burns

DESBARATS - AlgomaTrad and the Township of Johnson Recreation Committee are teaming up once again to present a traditional Robbie Burns Night on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 at the Johnson Township Community Centre Hall, Desbarats.

All the elements of a traditional Burns supper will be there including Scottish bagpipe and fiddle music, Highland and Scottish Country Dancers, the traditional address to the haggis, and Robbie Burns songs and poems and more.

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Duncan Cameron, who has performed and recorded with Pierre Schryer amongst others, will be the featured performer for the evening.

Tickets are advance only and are $30/ $15 students. Tickets are available online or in person at the Johnson Township Office, Cheryl’s Café at the JTCC Arena Desbarats, McClelland’s Hardware and Feed, and the Island Market in Richards Landing.

Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 211, will provide bar service for the evening. Proceeds after expenses will be donated to the AlgomaTrad Nicholas Missere Bursary Fund and Johnson Township Recreation programs.

Kilts are optional on Jan. 24 for this event in Desbarats but bring your sense of humour and come enjoy this opportunity to celebrate Robbie Burns, the haggis and all things Scottish.

Robbie Burns is hailed as Scotland’s greatest wordsmith and his poems and songs are still performed to this day, 312 years after his untimely death at 37 years of age. If you’ve gathered with friends and family on New Year’s Eve and sung the words “Should auld acquaintance be forgot...” then you too have celebrated Burns mastery of verse, as it was he who composed the words to Auld Lang Syne and put it to a melody with roots deep in Scotland’s past.

A celebrity in his own time for his poetry, Burns’ songs like My Love is like a Red, Red Rose, A-comin’ Through the Rye and Ye Banks and Braes of Bonny Doon have been perennial favourites ever since.

Every year since the mid-19th century admirers of Burns, and those who simply enjoy a fun event, get together on or around his birthday and celebrate his life and his art. Central to this festive occasion is the celebration of an old Scottish dish Haggis, to which Burns wrote a clever and funny address that is performed just before it is served as part of dinner.

The Haggis is surrounded by all kinds of misinformation, from being described as a cooked sheep’s stomach to the more absurd legend of a species of Scottish beastie, half bird and half sheep.

Actually, the Haggis is a kind of sausage, traditionally made from a mixture of organ meats (liver, heart, kidneys) and mixed with oatmeal and spices and cooked in the lining of a sheep’s stomach, a material that has been used for generations as a way to hold sausage together. Delicious!