The Bitterroot Celtic Society is hosting a gala at the Daly Mansion to celebrate the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns, Jan. 26.

The event will have a fine catered dinner, wine and Scotch bar, entertainment, plus haggis.

Gary Bladen, BCS dance coordinator, explained the origin of the celebration.

"When the poet died in 1796, his friends who would regularly meet at a local pub, decided to celebrate his prose by having a dinner each year on his birthday, Jan. 25,” Bladen said. “Since then the tradition spread throughout the world making 'Burn's Dinners' international celebrations of Scotland's poet laureate." 

Laura Reichart, BSC director and Burns Night coordinator, said the Robert Burns dinner will be a great evening.

“The BCS is constantly working to improve our events and I think this year will be our best Burns Night yet,” she said. “We are so lucky to have a local bag pipers, dancers, and singers that graciously contribute their talents for the evening every year.”

Cheryl Tenold, BCS president, said, “It’s a great excuse to get dressed up for a grown up night out. Great food, fun people, and a beautiful setting. What could be better?"

Sharon Bladen, treasurer and education committee of BCS, said the night will be educational.

"A prime goal of the Celtic Society is education about aspects of the Celtic culture,” Sharon Bladen said. “Even those who aren’t into poetry will have fun and learn interesting facts about Scottish culture and Robert Burns, their poet laureate at a Burns supper."

The event has shuttle van service from the main parking lot up to the front door and back, doors open at 5:30 p.m., with a no-host cocktail hour, the festivities start at 6:30 p.m. and the event is catered by the Mission Bistro and the Rainbow Bar.

The event is a joint fundraiser for the Bitterroot Celtic Society and the Daly Mansion.

Daly Mansion Executive Director Darlene Gould said the Robert Burns Dinner will “get rid of the winter doldrums.”

The event is sold out at 70 guests and the society may be forced to change locations for next year.

"We are so very excited to be working with the Mansion again for this great event” but may have to “move to a different venue next year that is bigger because the demand is so great,” Reichart said. “We are still undecided, and it'll be hard to find something as elegant and fitting as the Mansion. Plus they have been such great partners all these years.”

The Bitterroot Celtic Games and Gathering will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, August 17-18, at the Daly Mansion in Hamilton.