The primary fundraiser for the Kamloops Highland Games Society is just days away, and organizers hope to make this year’s Robbie Burns Night celebration the most successful yet.
About 200 tickets have so far been sold for Saturday night’s Scottish dinner and dance at the Kamloops Convention Centre. Society member Heather Hamilton hopes 300 people will attend.
This year's event will be the 126th held in Kamloops, a celebration older than the city itself.
“It’s an all-around fun kind of family night,” Hamilton said Wednesday.
Tickets are $45 and can be purchased in advance at Kamloops Florist, Overland Press and Movements Dance and Active Wear. Youth attend for $30 each and children pay $15.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 6 p.m.
The Kamloops Highland Games Society has taken over the tradition from the St. Andrew’s and Caledonian Society, who had organized Burns Night since 1887, said Hamilton.
A typical Robbie Burns Night reminds Hamilton of a small town wedding, with kids running everywhere and the favourite uncle propped up in a corner, only in a kilt.
“The pipe band plays, there’s highland dancing, there’s Robbie Burns poetry read. It’s all very regal,” she said.
The floor will eventually be opened to a DJ, who will play more conventional party music. But, in keeping with the theme, there’s a variety of scotch to buy and a haggis provided by Bruce Roane of Vancouver.
“It’s lots of fun,” said Hamilton.
Robbie Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist who wrote about his love of women, scotch, friendship and heartbreak. He died in 1796.
Meanwhile, as a lead-in to Robbie Burns night, Pat Turner and three other performers are touring seniors’ homes and entertaining residents with bagpipe music, dancing and a helping of haggis.
He said the intent is to provide people with a taste of Scotland.
“It’s quite lively actually,” he said. “Our piper adds quite a bit with his address to the haggis.”
Turner and his group are part of the Kamloops St. Andrew's and Caledonian Society.