NEW ENGLAND CELEBRATES SCOTTISH POET
Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns (January 25, 1759 –July21, 1796), is revered and celebrated in his native country and around the world. Burns Night began in 1801, five years after Burns’ death, and has continued enthusiastically ever since.
This devotion to Burns’ memory is especially evident in New England, where generations of Scots and Scots-Irish have settled over the past 400 years.
To honor his birthday each year, New Englanders celebrate with traditional Scottish music and song, poetry and toasts and cuisine and congeniality. Here is a selection of Robert Burns celebrations that take place in 2019.
Irish Cultural Centre
200 New Boston Road
Robert Burns Scottish Night
The weekly music session at the ICC on January 25 is devoted to Scottish music and particularly the works of Robert Burns, Scotland's great poet and writer. The session is free and open to the public.
Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern
81 Old Main Street
Robert Burns Dinner
Popular bagpiper Eric Goodchild emcees the Robert Burns Dinner in historic Deerfield. Socializing starts at 5 p.m. with dinner starting at 6 p.m. Expect a traditional supper, music, songs and poetry, a “stabbing o’ the haggis and the skirl of the pipes” in celebration of Scotland’s national poet.
321 Main Street
Worcester Kiltie Pipe Band Burns Night
A night of piping, poetry and Scottish ceilidh music with Elias Alexander and the Bywater Band. Dinner includes roast beef and chicken picatta.
Scottish Arts, Inc. presents
200 Main Street
Robert Burns Dinner
This 4th annual Robert Burns gathering in Nashua features good food, good whisky, haggis, piping, dance, good cheer and good poetry. The event is hosted by Scottish Arts, Inc., a non-profit organization that teaches Highland dance, bagpipes, fiddle and drum throughout the year.
2 Perkins Street,
Burns Night at the Haven
The Haven’s Burns Night includes a three-course meal of haggis, cullen skink, and more (with vegetarian options available), a single malt scotch toast, songs and poetry. Piper Elias Alexander entertains with Scottish music, and there is an address to the Haggis and a toast to the lassies.
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Congregation
7 Harrington Road
Robert Burns Celebration Concert
New England tenor Austin Burns and special guest Allison Flanagan present a concert dedicated to Scotland poet Robert Burns. Sets include songs about the countryside and “wild men” like Burns himself as well as dance music and ballads. Featured arrangements are by Maureen McMullan, a professor at Berklee College of Music, Arthur Foote, Franz Haydn and Austin Burns. Participants are encouraged to wear kilts, tartan colors and dancing shoes to the concert. A freewill offering will defray expenses.
The Burren Pub
247 Elm Street, Davis Square
Greater Boston Community Burns Supper
First organized in 2010, this community event takes place in one of the Boston area’s most notable tradition music pubs, this annual celebration of Robert Burns features a traditional Scottish meal, Scotch whisky, recitations of works by, about, and in the spirit of the Bard of Scotland and a pub sing-along. The event takes place in the Burren Back Room and there is a vegetarian option for the meal.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
99 Erdman Way
Leominster Burns Night Supper
Celebrating the life and works of Robert Burns, this event features music by popular Scottish singer Charlie Zahm with special guests the Scots Highland Pipes and Drums, plus Katriona and Calum Bell. The meal features a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings ad haggis. The event is hosted by Class Act Imports and proceeds benefit Friends Never Forget and Operation Camp.
New England Scottish Arts Centre
Saint Methodios Center
329 Camp Merrimack Road
A Celebration of Robert Burns
Reception, cocktails in the Great Room. Celtic Beats plays for ceilidh dancing, traditional Burns toasts. Dinner includes steak tips, neeps, tatties and haggis. Featured musicians include Campbell (pipes) and Marielle (fiddle) Webster.
Marblehead Little Theatre
12 School Street
Love Scotland – Music for Brave Hearts
A romantic and rousing concert celebrating Scotland’s Robert Burns, musicians include piper, singer and fiddler Elias Alexander, singer Julianne Gearhart and pianist Neil Pearlman, with narration by BBC’s Rhod Sharp. This year’s concert brings a musical vision to Burns’ poem of pub society, horse riding under the influence and a dance of witches.
9 Chestnut Street
Burns Night 2019
Seated Supper, Open Bar, Poetry, Scottish Dancing, Scotch Whisky Tasting with Brand Ambassadors and Experts. Also, enter to win a free trip to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, provided by the National Trust for Scotland.
Find out more about Irish and Scottish/Celtic cultural activities in New England by visiting IrishMassachusetts.com