At midnight January 1, the world holds hands and sings Auld Lang Syne. Who wrote the lyrics to this global tune? In mid February lovers and romantics the world over look into each other’s eyes and whisper, “My love is like a red, red rose.” Who crafted such a well known elegy to love? The answer is the Scottish poet Robert Burns, forever known as the Bard of Ayr.
Robert Burns, affectionately called Rabbie, was born in Ayr, Scotland which for reasons quite contemporary just happens to be Newnan’s sister city. During the last weekend of January --
which marks Rabbie’s birthday -- lovers, romantics, musicians and dancers around the globe hold a rousing good time in his memory.
For the 4th consecutive year Newnan will be hosting its own celebration January 31 through February 3 -- and everyone's invited!
The Newnan Cultural Arts Commission, Newnan Carnegie Library Foundation, the Order of the Tartan and Southern Arc Dance are joining forces to bring some of the greatest Celtic musicians in the land to our home town for the new year’s biggest celebration. There are four days of activities lined up. Come to one or all events to help celebrate Newnan’s unique Scottish connection!
On Saturday Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m., come see and hear the not- to-be missed Piper Jones Band live at the Wadsworth Auditorium. Piper Jones Band is centered around beautifully and energetically played Highland bagpipes accompanied by the percussive chords of the bouzouki and drum. In addition to original instrumentals and traditional tunes from Ireland, Scotland, and Appalachia, the group sings powerful harmonies and can lead the audience in traditional Celtic dances. They bring authentic traditional music in an entertaining form. Piper Jones Band seeks to share abundant spirit, life-filled dance tunes, and song with those who know Celtic music well and with those who are hearing it for the first time. Included with the concert at the Wadsworth on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:30, there is a fashion show by Underground Runway’s Emily Westergreen. Come see locals prance, strut and sashay across the stage wearing casual, elegant and dynamic Scottish themed fashion. Dancers courtesy of Southern Arc Dance will also grace the stage in costume with lively Scottish Dance. Tickets to Saturday night’s Celtic Concert with Fashion Show and Scottish Dance are just $15 and available now at eventbrite.com.
On Friday, Feb. 1 from 8 to 10 p.m. get yourself moving and get jiggy at Southern Arc Dance’s Scottish country dance and ho’ down. Learn simple dance steps by master dance instructor Paolo Manso de Sousa and try them out with or without a partner as lively Scottish music plays in the ballroom at Southern Arc Dance, 40 Greenway Court Suite D, Newnan, GA 30265. Light refreshments and beverages served. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Scottish attire optional.
Tickets to Friday night’s Scottish Country Dance are just $8 and available now at eventbrite.com.
Other non-ticketed/FREE events as part of the weekend celebration include:
Thursday, Jan. 31, 5:30 p.m., The Scotland-Newnan Connection presentation at The University of West Georgia, Newnan Campus. FREE. A one hour panel discussion and presentation about the Newnan-Scotland Sister City Connection, the impact of Scottish immigration to this area and Robert Burns, the Bard of Scotland and inspiration for Burns Weekends around the globe. Who is this enigmatic character and why are his poems so beloved?
Saturday, Feb. 2, 10:00 a.m., Scottish Storytelling and Craft for Kids, Newnan Carnegie Library, FREE. Bring children to hear Scottish tales and stories, make a Scottish themed craft and even hear the bagpipes! Recommended for ages 5 and up. Please call the Carnegie for more information 770-683-1347.
Sunday, Feb. 3, 11:00 a.m., Sacred Scottish Tunes, Newnan Presbyterian Church, FREE. Come to NPC’s Sunday morning service and be treated to a different performance by the Piper Jones Band as they play softer, sacred tunes that illustrate the faith of the Scottish people. Their music will be woven into the Sunday morning service making for an unforgettable worship experience.
Call 678-416-3121 for more information.
O my Luve's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June: O my Luve's like the melodie, That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve thee still, my dear, Till a' the seas gang dry.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve! And fare-thee-weel, a while! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!
-- Lyrics by Robert Burns