PITTSBURGH - The Macdonald Pipe Band of Pittsburgh hosts its annual Burns Supper, honoring the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns, on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, 123 Gilkeson Road, Mount Lebanon, Pa. Doors open at 5 p.m.; buffet dinner featuring steak pie and haggis begins at 6 p.m.
In addition to a tribute to the prolific 18th-century poet, the evening includes performances by the Macdonald Pipe Band and the Celtic Spirit Highland Dancers. A Chinese raffle featuring a variety of Celtic-themed and other items will take place, and Thistle & Pine LLC will have a display of Scottish and Celtic items, including jewelry, flags, food, ceramics and more.
"Burns Suppers are held in Scotland and in countries throughout the world around the date of Burns' birth, Jan. 25, each year. The events are a way for Scots and Scottish expatriates, as well as folks from these countries, to get a taste of Scottish culture including food, drink, music, dancing and poetry," said Betsy Bethel-McFarland of Martins Ferry, a piper and band spokesperson.
Piper Robert Blachley of the Macdonald Pipe Band of Pittsburgh performs the ceremonial “piping in of the haggis” at the band’s annual Burns Supper. Haggis is a traditional Scottish boiled meat dish and is the subject of Robert Burns’ ode, “To a Haggis.”
"We view our event not only as a way to honor the writer of songs like 'Auld Lang Syne' and poems like 'My Luv's a Red, Red Rose,' but also as a fun evening out to brighten up the dreary post-holiday season," she added.
The Macdonald Pipe Band is a nonprofit charitable organization. The band, made up of pipers and drummers, performs at parades, festivals and Highland games competitions throughout the year. In September, the band took first place in its division at the Ligonier Highland Games at Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pa.
Locally, the band plays annually at the Wheeling Celtic Celebration, the Follansbee Community Days parade, the Eastern Gateway Community College spring commencement and the CHANGE Inc. St. Patrick's Day fundraiser at Mountaineer Racetrack.
Anyone interested in attending the dinner can visit www.macdonaldpipeband.net to purchase tickets online or download an order form to purchase by mail. For information, call Bethel-McFarland, 304-280-6212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.