Celebrate Robbie Burns with haggis in Red Deer

Haggis lovers will unite at Robbie Burns’ Night Supper in Red Deer Friday.

The annual night hosted by the Red Deer Legion Pipe Band has been about a 10-year-old tradition in the city.

Arnie MacAskill, Red Deer Legion Pipe Band drummer, said there are many people of the Scottish heritage in Central Alberta – and the annual event keeps the traditions alive.

The night will consist of a traditional Scottish dinner with haggis, bagpipes and highland dances.

“One of the things we have is the immortal memory and it’s a speech by one of the pipe band members, and we have someone do a toast to the haggis… one of the guys does a toast to the lassies and then one of the lassies does a reply back,” explained MacAskill.

Poet Robbie Burns has come to be an important name in the Scottish culture, and around the world, MacAskill noted.

“He was quite a character over there and his name has gone on – hundreds of years since he’s passed,” the drummer said.

The band tries to promote the Highland bagpipes and the Scottish ways – piping and drumming. This event in return acts as a fundraiser for the band so the members are able to pay for instruments and kilts.

The drummer noted, by the time the band pays for supper and entertainment, it’s left with about a $1,000.

MacAskill said the event will be smaller this year as it’s at the Elks Lodge, versus the Red Deer Legion where it’s usually hosted.

The Red Deer Legion Pipe Band has about 30 members including students, from all over Central Alberta including Lacombe, Innisfail, Ponoka and Rocky Mountain House.

Doors to the event open at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person. For more information call Arnie MacAskill at 403-782-7183.


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