Burns dinner set in Bettendorf

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The Scottish-American Society of the Quad Cities brings a 223-year-old Scottish tradition to the Quad Cities with its 46th annual Robert Burns Night Dinner at the Isle Casino Hotel, Bettendorf, according to a news release.

The birthday of Robert Burns, Scotland’s beloved poet and songwriter, is celebrated annually wherever Scots and friends of Scotland gather.

The Quad Cities Scottish-American Society presents its celebration from 5:30-10:30pm on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Isle Casino Hotel, 1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf. Admission includes full dinner, traditional toasts to the haggis and to Scotland, festivities, and entertainment.

Entertainment includes piping in the haggis, performances by the Black Hawk Pipe and Drums band, music by the Barley House Band, a Scottish dance lesson, and the Grand March. Other options include checking out the Society’s raffle table, and Celtic-inspired art vendors. The event closes with a sing-along of “Auld Lang Syne,” one of Burns’ most enduring songs. A special room block is available for the event at the Isle Casino Hotel.

The event is open to all. Scottish heritage or kilts are not required. For details, see the reservation form here, or contact Burns Night event coordinator Judy Hawthorne at thornebj67@gmail.com or call 563-391-9971 or 563-370-4078.

Who was Robert Burns?

If you’ve ever sung “Auld Lang Syne,”  or used the phrase, “the best laid plans of mice and men,” you already know his work. More than 550 poems and songs are attributed to “the patriot bard,” who wrote in the Scots dialect. Pieces still sung and recited today include “To a Mouse,” “A Red, Red Rose,” “Ae Fond Kiss,” “Address to a Haggis,” and “Tam o’ Shanter.”

Burns Nights are celebrated annually around the time of the poet’s birth on Jan. 25, 1759, in Alloway, Scotland. Five years after Burns died at the young age of 37, on July 21, 1796, a group of his friends gathered at the Burns Cottage for haggis, speeches, and performances of Burns’ works. The second Burns Night event was moved to his birthday, and has become an enduring tradition ever since.

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