Are you ready for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience, laddy? For the first time, Mountlake Terrace will host a unique dinner and show that will feature bagpipes, Highland dancers and the can’t-miss Parade of the Haggis.
The Kenmore and District Pipe Band will be holding its sixth annual Burns Night dinner on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Nile Country Club in Mountlake Terrace. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $40 each.
Burns Nights, held worldwide, are celebrations to honor Scottish poet Robert Burns, author of Auld Lang Syne and other works. In previous years the Kenmore and District Pipe Band has conducted its Burns Night dinner in Everett, but has outgrown the meeting hall the group had been using there.
“The event has sold out the past couple of years, so we needed a larger venue,” said band member and Mountlake Terrace resident Kim Baca.
Entertainment at the event will not only include a performance from the Kenmore and District Pipe Band, but also from the Highland dancers of the Bentzen School of Highland Dance and Irish fiddle musician Alice Tilton.
The centerpiece of any Burns Night dinner is the traditional Parade of the Haggis, a Scottish dish often consisting of sheep organs (heart, liver and lungs), onion, oatmeal, suet (sheep fat) and spices cooked inside a sheep’s stomach. The haggis “looks admittedly like something from a food challenge on ‘Survivor,’” confessed Baca, and is brought into the dinner hall with plenty of pomp on a big platter by the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.
“A solo piper leads the way,” explained Baca. “Once the haggis has everyone’s attention, the emcee recites the ‘Address to a Haggis,’ which is another Burns poem. Our emcee is a very engaging Scottish guy, and his rendition of the poem is fun to listen to even if you can’t make out what he’s saying through his heavy Scottish brogue.”
At the poem’s conclusion, the haggis is pierced with a fancy dagger and a traditional toast of Scotch whiskey is raised to the dinner entrée.
“Everyone is welcome to try the haggis, but I always like to let my friends know that it isn’t the main course, and is totally optional,” Baca added. The Mountlake Terrace dinner will be serving Highland chicken, with a vegetarian option also available to event attendees.
The Kenmore and District Pipe Band, formed in 2001, is a non-profit, cultural and educational organization dedicated to Scottish piping and drumming. You can find more information about the group, or to purchase tickets for the Jan. 25 Burns Night dinner, here.
— By Doug Petrowski