The “Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race” will provide the centrepiece when the Royal Canadian Legion branches of Parksville and Qualicum Beach each host their annual tributes to Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns.
The 26th annual Robbie Burns Day dinner takes place at Parksville’s Legion Branch 49, and will boast an afternoon of entertainment and eating beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24.
Qualicum Beach Legion Branch 76 will hosts its annual tribute to the Scottish bard Jan. 30 with a dinner and dance at the Legion hall starting at 5:30 p.m.
Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire, was the 18th-century poet and lyricist still regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Each year, on or around his Jan. 25 birthday, his influence is recognized by Scottish expatriates throughout the world.
On the mid-Island, both Legion dinners will revolve around the piping in of the haggis and the reading of Burns’ Ode to the Haggis, marking the start of the dinner.
The Jan. 24 dinner in Parksville will feature entertainment from the Mount Arrowsmith Pipe Band and the Highland dancing of students from Cassandra Karass School of Dance starting at 1 p.m. The traditional Scottish dinner will follow at 2 p.m.
Tickets for the afternoon are $28 per person. All ages are welcome to the hall at 146 W. Hirst Ave.
To secure tickets in advance or for more info, call 250-248-6842 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Qualicum Beach Legion event Jan. 30 begins at 5:30 p.m. with the Gathering of the Clans. Following a performance by the Cassandra Karass Highland Dancers, the piping in and ode to the haggis will kick off dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The Qualicum Beach Pipe Band will provide entertainment during dinner before giving way to the dance tunes of Summit Sound starting at 8:15 p.m.
Tickets are $32 per person, reserved seating only, and went on sale Jan. 3 at the Legion hall lounge. Tickets are first come/first served, with a limit of four tickets per member.
For more information, call 250-752-9632.
— NEWS staff and Canadian Legion releases