The Maine Celtic Celebration invites one and all to relieve those mid-winter blues at the annual Burns Supper, set for Saturday evening, Jan. 23 — the  257th anniversary of the bard's birth — at the Waldo County Shrine Club, 20 Northport Ave.

The official Robert Burns website describes a Burns Supper as the annual celebratory tribute to the life, works and spirit of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), adding “Burns Suppers range from stentoriously formal gatherings of esthetes and scholars to uproariously informal rave-ups of drunkards and louts." The Midcoast’s festivities aim for somewhere in the middle of that range.

The event will begin with a traditional scotch tasting, followed by an evening of hearty food (including, yes, haggis), entertainment and fun.

A performance by local Celtic music favorites Castlebay will celebrate the Burns theme. The duo of Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee has studied Burns — the man, the myth and the music. In their program, romantic love songs are interspersed with lively dance tunes, as well as poems and anecdotes about Scotland's National Poet.

Audience participation is always encouraged at a Burns Supper and prizes will be awarded for recitations of Burns' poetry, so polish up those oratorical chops. A listing of Burns' complete works (559 entries) can be found at

The scotch tasting will run from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Doors for the supper open at 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 for the entire event including the whiskey tasting or $12 for the dinner and entertainment. Reservations are strongly suggested by calling 338-2692. All proceeds will benefit the Maine Celtic Celebration.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or