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Scotland Rules!

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With all the recent debate about an upcoming referendum to decide the matter of Scottish independence, the 253rd birthday of Robbie Burns takes on even more meaning than usual. In an impassioned plea to keep the country together, Burns said "Be Britain's still to Britain true, among ourselves united." These words were actually recited by a member of Parliament in the British House of Commons on Burns' birthday in January 2012. The greatest exponent of Scottish poetry and music has been celebrated with an annual dinner since 1801, and the tradition is now carried on worldwide. Here in Fort Lauderdale, the Burns dinner is nearly 30 years old. It began as is tradition with the piping in of the haggis, and an address to the haggis, which this January was delivered by Peter Buchanan, former president of the Scottish American Society of South Florida. The picture shows the climactic moment when the knife is plunged into the haggis. A portrait of Burns sits on the right of the table draped in the Scottish flag.

The Burns dinner, held at the Orangebrook Golf and Country Club in Hollywood, Florida, included entertainment by the ever-popular Brigadoons from Canada.Patrons sampled a delicious birthday cake after a dinner of haggis and American food.

The Scottish American Society of South Florida will hold their 29th Annual Southeast Florida Scottish Festival and Games Saturday March 3, 2012, at Snyder Park.

Highlights include Massed Pipe Bands, Heavy Athletics, Country Dancing, Clans and Societies, Fiddling and Singing, Piping and Drumming Competitions, Highland Dancing Sheepherding, food, drink, and merchandise. Featuring The Rogues, Rathkeltair, Uproot Hootenanny, and Tipsy Laird.

The Festival and games are open to the public, Hours are 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. rain or shine. Admittance is $20 in advance and $25 at the gate, children under 12 are free.

Snyder Park is located at 3299 SW 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale – Just north of the I595 and west of US 1.

There are also two other events leading up to the Games One is a Pub afternoon at The Kingshead Pub in Sunrise on Feb. 18 from 2-6pm. The other will be at BoKampres in Plantation on Feb. 29 from 6 to 9pm. Members from five different pipe bands will be performing at each event.

For further information and advance tickets please call 954-460-5000 or go to the Society's website at

Clifford Cunningham

Dr. Clifford Cunningham is a planetary scientist. He earned his PhD in the history of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland, and has undergraduate degrees in science and ancient history from the University of Waterloo. In 2014 he was named a contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica. He is the author of 14 books on asteroids and the history of science. In 1999 he appeared on the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Asteroid 4276 was named in his honor in 1990 by the International Astronomical Union based on the recommendation of its bureau located at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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