January 6, 2020
From Steve Walker, Andover NY:
Bagpipes and haggis will rule the night in Andover January 18 as Scottish culture will be celebrated at the eleventh annual “Burns Supper”. Organizer Steve Walker says, “Just in case you didn’t have enough at the 2019 holiday celebrations, there is one more traditional party squeezed in between New Year ’s Eve and Ground Hog’s Day.” To Scots, Robert Burns is “The Bard” and is remembered and celebrated by Scots and their descendants worldwide. His birthday, January 25, is observed as a holiday for over 200 years. Although he was a celebrity in literary circles and high society of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, in late 18th century, his poetry was often in the vernacular Scots dialect and was the product of the rural, rustic farm folk of Burns’ life as an Ayrshire plowman
This annual celebration of Scottish music, poetry, food and fun is held at the social hall of the Andover Presbyterian Church. Pat Kane, the Balladeer of the Southern Tier, will entertain with celtic fiddle and song accompanied by Kathy Snediker on keyboards. Kane played for the first several Burns Suppers in Andover. Bagpipes are also a highlight of a traditional Burns Supper. A highlight of the “Burns Supper” is the marching of the haggis into the dining room, this year lead by a bagpiper Chet Norton of Whitesville. The haggis, a Scottish dish made of ground sheep parts, oatmeal and onions, is then ceremoniously addressed, or praised by the recitation of Robert Burns’ poem “Ode to a Haggis”.
Haggis is just the appetizer of a meal of cock-a-leekie soup, beef, vegetables, shortbread and dessert that will be prepared by Chelsea Wallace. Among the traditional features of a Burns dinner is “The Immortal Memory”, which is a tribute to Robert Burns touching on his life and times, loves and poetry. Terry Morgan, professor emeritus at Alfred State College and an enthusiastic Burns scholar, will make this presentation. Seating is limited to sixy participants. The cost is $25 per person. Reservations may be made at Walker Metalsmiths at One Main Street, Andover. Call 607-478-8567 for more information.