Bagpipes, haggis, highland dancers and more than 450 people dressed in kilts and caps joined in the annual celebration of Scottish poet Robert Burns’ 253rd birthday last Saturday night.
The event was held at the Eagle Eye Golf Club, 15500 Chandler Road, and was sponsored by the Glen Erin Pipe Band, who headlined the evening.
Former MSU professor Ewan Todd, who was born in Scotland, recited a passage from Burns’ work in his honor.
“Here we are, 250 years after he was born, and we are still celebrating him today,” Todd said. “He had a great way of figuring out the way people thought and would uncover hypocrisy.”
The poet and lyricist of Scotland annually is honored by Scots around the world with traditional Burns night suppers of food, drinks, poems and songs, said Bill Collins, pipe major in the Glen Erin Pipe Band.
The Glen Erin Pipe Band plays traditional Scottish and Irish music while dressed in Scottish attire. Todd said “glen erin” means Scottish-Irish.
The Band has hosted this event for almost 45 years, and it has been sold out for at least the past 30 years, Collins said.
Todd said Burns still is remembered today for his ability to relate his work to the everyday man.
“Some of his poems have international recognition today — they tell a story that is worldwide,” Todd said. “He would talk about the common man being more important than the kings, princes and gentry, and that has been an ideal which has resonated with people throughout the ages.”
The company of good friends is what Todd enjoys most about the evening, which he has attended for the past 10 years.
Biosystems engineering senior Ethan Nussdorfer said he has a Scottish heritage and also has been coming to this Burns Night celebration for the past few years with his family.
“My mother’s side of the family is very Scottish, and my parents started coming out to the event seven years ago,” Nussdorfer said. “Then, a few years ago, they invited my brother, sister and I to come along, and we’ve been coming ever since for the music and the food.”
David Price, the Glen Erin Pipe Band drummer, said he was pleased with the turnout.
“We are just so delighted to have over 450 people from the Lansing area come out tonight and celebrate Burns with bagpipes, Scottish dancing, good food, good dining and a little bit of haggis,” Price said.