January is the month for celebrations of Robbie Burns Day – the birthday of the great Scottish poet. Celebrations typically include poetry readings, scotch swilling, traditional Scottish food (especially haggis!), and bagpipe music. Don your best kilt (or just some plaid) and head out to one of these events to celebrate this Scottish legend:
Fionn MacCool’s (4485 Gateway Boulevard, Holiday Inn Conference Centre)
Modern Day namesakes – that is, any guest that can provide legal, photographic proof his or her first or last name is Robert, Robbie, Rob or Burns – will receive one free plate of Mini Yorkshire Puddings. Filled with Guinness gravy and fresh Québec cheddar cheese curds, the appetizer is perfect for sharing with friends. There will also be all-day entertainment including a piping-in of the Haggis accompanied by its formal traditional address, a scotch whisky tasting, whisky toasts to Burns, hourly readings of his poetry, and traditional pipe music.
When: Friday January 25, 11 am – 1 am
Cost: No cover
Cafe Tiramisu (10750-124 St.)
Celebrate this great poet with a session of fun poetry readings! Sound poet Jeff Carpenter will recite an address to haggis. Mike Gravel proposes the Toast to the Lassies, and Jannie Edwards will counter with the Toast to the Laddies. Finally, Alice Major digs into her Scottish roots to present the ‘immortal memory.’ There will also be an opportunity for the audience to sign up and deliver a brief poem of their own or to read one of Burns’.
When: Saturday January 26, 3-5 pm
Cost: $5 (includes coffee)
Edmonton Pubs Group
A collection of some of the most popular pubs in the city will be hosting official Robert Burns ceremonies, complete with piper Langford Bawn and official “address to the haggis” by Graham McCartney, both members of the EPS Pipe Band. Sherlock’s Holmes Pub (Capilano) 5 pm; The Rose & Crown Pub 5:45 pm; Devaney’s Irish Pub 6:30 pm; Sherlock’s Holmes Pub (Rice Howard Way) 7:15 pm.
When: Friday, January 25
Cost: No cover
Alley Kat Brewery (9929-60 Ave.)
This local brewery has named the latest beer in their popular “dragon” series the Plaid Dragon in celebration of Robbie Burns; made with four kinds of hops, this Double IPA has a bold, bitter taste. To further mark the occasion, they’ve released a limited amount of an exclusive whiskey barrel-aged brew, the McDougall Scottish Export Ale, and have also kept their limited-edition Darn Tartan Scotch Ale available. Head to the brewery to pick up bottles of any of these three brews and you’re set to toast to Robbie Burns!
When: Mon – Wed 10 am – 4:30 pm; Thu – Fri 10 am – 5 pm
Cost: $6-$6.50 per 650 ml bottle
The Pan Tree Kitchen (220 Lakeland Dr., Sherwood Park)
Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Chef Richard Toll – including lamb from Tangle Ridge Ranch Farm _ poetry readings, and, of course, whiskey!
When: Thursday, February 24
Cost: Phone 780-464-4631 for cost and reservations