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Eastport celebrates Robbie Burns Day

Bonavista Bay town marks birthday of famous Scottish poet

EASTPORT, NL — With every ticket sold and a waiting list that couldn’t be filled, Eastport’s 10th annual Robbie Burns Night has far outgrown its humble beginnings in George and Joan Innes’ home.
The Scottish dinner and show was held at Eastport’s Royal Canadian Legion Saturday night, Jan. 27.
Robbie Burns Night is held over the world on or near Jan. 25, the birthday of Scotland’s celebrated poet.
Burns is celebrated in Eastport thanks to George and Joan Innes. Originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, George came to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1960. He and Joan, who hails from Happy Adventure, hosted the Eastport Peninsula’s first Robbie Burns Night for 16 guests at their home in 2008.
Burns Night was a way to share his Scottish culture with the community around him.
“I was always interested in his poetry,” says George. “It’s become a bit of a local tradition.”
Ten years on the event has expanded, moving to the Legion to become a much-appreciated fundraiser for the Beaches Arts and Heritage Centre.
Eastport’s event followed the standard order of a typical Robbie Burns night, including toasts, speeches and a traditionally presented meal of haggis, a Scottish dish consisting of a sheep’s or calf's offal mixed with suet, oatmeal, and seasoning and boiled in a bag, traditionally one made from the animal's stomach.
The meal was followed by musical and comedic performances, all with a Scottish theme and with many focusing on the anomaly of the Scottish kilt.
Kelsey Vivian heard about the event through a flyer brought home from school by her child. She decided to make a night out of it.
“It is what I was expecting,” she said. “I liked it. It’s not something you see every day so take the opportunity while you can.”

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