Time to Eat Haggis and Dance, at the Tam

Honor the poet Robert Burns with the traditional dish, drams of Scotch, bagpipes, and readings at the Tam O'Shanter.

What to Know

  • Tuesday, Jan. 23 and Wednesday, Jan. 24
  • Tam O'Shanter in Atwater Village
  • 5:30 and 8:15 p.m. seating times

If you're going to don a kilt or the family plaid or something else that looks as though it would fit nicely into a traditional Highlands-style soirée, you're surely looking for an evening that has some stirring, ages-old elements.

And seeking out that which stirs the senses and soul can often be found within the lines of poems that have endured the ages, or at least several ages.

The words written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns have done just that, and centuries after his birth we still recite "Auld Lang Syne" and the other lines he so immortally put to paper.

The Tam O'Shanter stops to grandly honor the memory of the poet each year. And so popular is this senses-stirring, kilt-garbed gathering that it happens over two nights, not just one, and there are two seatings each night.

It's the Robbie Burns Celebration, a tribute to the scribe's birthday, which happened 259 years ago. To raise a dram to the writer's memory, you'll need to be at the historic Atwater Village restaurant in the here, and in the now, or at least on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 23 or Wednesday, Jan. 24.

There are two seatings each night, at 5:30 and 8:15.

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Kilts and plaids and the traditional Scottish styles are not mandatory, though many people do arrive in their Burnsian best.

On the menu? Haggis is the most famous dish of the night, and, yes, it is ceremonially sliced with a sword. There are "...over 40 varieties of single malt scotch" to peruse, too, and other authentic eats that hail from the birthplace of the Poet Burns.

On the entertainment roster? Step-dancers will bring the twirls and power, while bagpipes will ring through the cozy, woodsy eatery.

And, yes, readings are also part of the festivities.

Robert Burns, by the by, is the writer who gave the character Tam O'Shanter to the world. So it is a fitting and spirited and, yes, stirring thing that a restaurant named the Tam O'Shanter, one that's quite far from Scotland in distance but not in kinship, will remember the legendary poet with a rollicking, haggis-filled two-night cèilidh.

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