MOUNT LEBANON, Pa. - The Macdonald Pipe Band of Pittsburgh will hold its annual Burns Supper, observing Scottish poet Robert Burns' birthday, Jan. 19 at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church located at 123 Gilkeson Road.
Doors open at 5 p.m., and a buffet dinner, featuring steak pie and haggis, begins at 6 p.m.
The event will include performances by the pipe band and the Celtic Spirit Highland Dancers of Pittsburgh. A Chinese drawing will feature a variety of Celtic-themed items, and Thistle and Pine will have a display of Scottish and Celtic items, including jewelry, flags, food and ceramics.
BURNS SUPPER — Piper Robert Blachley of Bethel Park, Pa., a member 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’ “To a Haggis.” -- Contributed
"Burns Suppers are held in Scotland and in countries throughout the world around the date of Burns' birth, Jan. 25, each year," said Betsy Bethel-McFarland, piper and spokesperson. "The events are a way for Scots and Scottish expatriates, as well as folks from other countries, to get a taste of Scottish culture including food, drink, music, dancing and poetry.
"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."
The band, under the leadership of Upper St. Clair High School senior Brina Reddecliff, plays annually at the Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day and Labor Day parades, the Castle Shannon Memorial Day parade, the Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Wheeling Celtic Celebration and the C.H.A.N.G.E. Inc. St. Patrick's Day fundraiser at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.
The band, made up of pipers and drummers, performs at 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.
Weekly rehearsals take place on Wednesday evenings at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Bethel Park, Pa.
The Celtic Spirit Highland Dancers and Pipers of Pittsburgh are a group of young performers who study traditional Scottish Highland Dance and traditional Scottish bagpiping.
"Highland Dance is a celebration of Scottish spirit combining strength, agility movement, traditional music and costume," said Kathy Horvath, dance director. "My students love to share their knowledge of the Scottish traditions through performing."
The Macdonald Pipe Band is a nonprofit charitable organization.
The dinner is a fundraiser to help the band purchase instrument and uniform parts and fund an upcoming trip to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland.
Tickets are $27.50 for adults and $20 for children. Tickets must be reserved by Jan. 10.
Those interested in attending the dinner can visit www.macdonaldpipeband.net to purchase tickets or download an order form.
For information, call Bethel-McFarland at (304) 280-6212 or email bbmcfarland@yahoo. com.