2024 Robert Burns Night Supper
All proceeds from Burns Night will support Asheville Sister Cities, Inc., a 501c3 organization. Past Burns Nights have made possible contributions to the Burns Cottage Restoration, Niel Gow Memorial, Birnam Arts, and the Dunkeld Community Archive.
First Time Guests will receive a free membership in Asheville Sister Cities.
New guests which have not attended a previous ASCI Burns Night will be eligible to receive a free one year membership in Asheville Sister Cities if not already a member. This is your chance to bring a friend into ASCI as well as join you for Burns Night. To help with this effort, we can mail you some event cards to pass out to your friends with our thanks. Just leave your mailing address in the comments of our feedback form and we will send the cards once they are available.
Click here for a complete list of volunteer and promotional opportunities to help support burns night and make it better-than-ever. We especially need help with graphic design, videography, and media relations.
Click here to see full program details and significance of Burns Night ceremony.
Reception and Entertainment – 5:30 pm
Full cash or credit card bar will be available.
Wine tickets will be available for at the event to purchase in person for wine service during supper.
Scotland Co-Host Fiona Ritchie
The 32 year host of National Public Radio’s premiere Celtic music program, The Thistle and Shamrock will join us live from Dunkeld and Birnam. Fiona will be introducing performances from our friends in Scotland as well as providing her own surprises. Fiona is the winner of six World Medals from the New York Festivals International Competition for Radio Programming, the Flora MacDonald Award and honorary doctorate from St. Andrews University (NC), 2003 honors from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage , appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), inducted in the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame and Folk DJ Hall of Fame. Fiona serves on the Advisory Board of the Swannanoa Gathering folk arts workshops at Warren Wilson College.
Piper EJ Jones
EJ Jones is a classically trained piper on the Great Highland Bagpipes, and has spent his life studying the pipe music of Scotland. He is ranked “Professional” by the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, and many regard him as the foremost Scottish Highland Piper in this part of the country. He is a member of the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders Pipe Band, and serves as Music Director at the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in Linville each July. He also is the long-time piper for the annual Swannanoa Solstice at the Wortham Performing Arts Center.
Fiddler Andrew Finn Magill
We are excited to announce that Andrew Finn Magill, who is the Coordinator of the Swannanoa Gathering Fiddle Week, will be providing live fiddle music for Burns Night. Finn will be preforming at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts Mainstage Concert Series on October 27, 2023. He has been featured on PBS, NPR, TEDx and MTV-U. Finn is a Fulbright fellow, North Carolina Arts Council fellow, and South Arts Emerging Traditional Artist. His music is influenced by Irish, old-time, bluegrass, Malawian, and Brazilian choro music. Having this renowned fiddle virtuoso will be a real treat for Burns Night.
Guided Scotch Whisky Tasting – 5:45 pm
Pioneering local craft brewer, Oscar Wong, of Highland Brewing, will conduct a Guided Scotch Whisky Tasting with a quick background on the five recognized whisky regions of Scotland followed by a sample from four of the regions. Tasting notes on each take you on a journey that will whet your appetite for the wide range of Scotch whisky flavors. The cost for this optional tasting is $50 and tickets available below are limited to 30 participants and are sure to sell out.
Robert Burns Poetry and Song Seminar – 5:45 pm
For the first time this year, a 45 minute Robert Burns Poetry and Song Seminar available to all guests is being added to the program and will begin in the Vanderbilt Room at 5:45 pm. Please indicate your interest in attending when purchasing tickets below. The seminar will reflect on Burns’ work to offer a deeper appreciation of the Bard, and will begin with “Address to a Haggis” to provide a better understanding of this essential part of Burns Night traditions. If there are any of Burns’ work you may wish to present or discuss, please contact us here.
Procession and Address to the Haggis – 6:45 pm
Guests are invited to join the Parade of Tartans.
Dinner Service and Entertainment – 7:05 pm
Menu includes a three-course dinner:
1st: Mixed greens salad
2nd: Selection of one of the following entrées when purchasing tickets:
• Frenched herb crusted chicken breast served with Alabama White BBQ Sauce
• Pan seared salmon served with honey whole grain mustard glaze
• Vegan Medley a combination of various vegetables
3rd: Red velvet cake with candied spiced pecans dessert
Haggis will be served on the side at individual tables.
Complementary water, coffee & tea service will be available.
Charity Auction and Closing Ceremony – 8:45pm
New Venue – Biltmore Double Tree Hotel
To have more space and be more centrally located, the event venue will be moving to the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville – Biltmore using the west event entrance. We will have a larger dining area, expanded whisky tasting room, and more room for entertainment, auction items, drinks service and socializing.
If you would like to be kept updated by email on this event, leave a note here.
Admission tickets are as follows per individual attendee:
Asheville Sister Cities, Inc. (ASCI) member: $100
Non-ASCI member: $125
Non-ASCI member who have not attended an ASCI Burns Night: $100
Optional Guided Scotch Whisky Tasting is $50 and requires paid admission.
ASCI membership is available by separate purchase for $25.
Ticket are limited and ticket sales will close when event sells out. Although Burns Night may not sell out our expanded venue, the Guided Scotch Whisky Tasting will most likely sell out. Therefore we are extending to our former guests and ASCI members the courtesy to purchase tickets early before they are marketed to the general public starting in November, 2023.
Ticket purchase is completed through Pay Pal. Attendees will receive a digital-ticket by email. Digital-tickets are not required at event reception and serve to record ticket purchase and attendee responses, such as meal selection.
As a reminder, if you wish to participate in the Whisky Tasting, please purchase a Whisky Tasting ticket in addition to regular attendance.