One of the most famous English language poets, and the

first in English to write in dialect, Robert Burns, a

brilliantly talented dandy who loved to party, was also a

kind and modest man cherished by a huge circle of friends

and admirers. He is most remembered for his love poem "A

Red, Red Rose" – "My love is like a red, red rose"- and

was the first to record the ancient tune "Auld Lang Syne."

Burns died at age 37 and his friends began the Robert

Burns Supper tradition in his memory. On Saturday, January

27, at the Pine Creek Miniature Golf Clubhouse, 394 Route

31, in West Amwell, the Friends of Alouette International,

a Pennington-based nonprofit, will host its own Robert

Burns Supper, open to the public.

A Robert Burns Supper or Burns Night is a traditional

winter celebration in Scotland commemorating the great

poet’s birthday on January 25. It features a five-course

dinner, wine or beer and whiskey toast, a bagpipe concert,

and speeches and poetry. "A real Burns Supper is a very

simple, very Scottish meal," says organizer Marsha Brown.

"It includes Haggis (a poor man’s lamb sausage), which

Burns himself called the `Chieftain of the Puddin’ Race’;

mashed neeps (turnips); and taties (potatoes), accompanied

by good Scottish whiskey or beer for flavor. What makes

the event extra special is the fervor with which the meal

is served. The dinner is punctuated with poetry and

speeches chiefly in the Scottish dialect. The Haggis is

honored with its own parade, usually piped into the dining

hall by a bagpiper and respectfully greeted with Burns’

famous `To A Haggis.’

The usual agenda includes several other speeches and

toasts including `A Toast to the Lassies’ and `A Response

to the Laddies’ and an `Immortal Memory Speech’ to Robert

Burns himself."

Friends of Alouette, International, sponsors projects

supporting the education of underprivileged children in

the United States and around the world. Proceeds from the

Robert Burns Supper will help fund educational projects in

the Philippines, New Orleans, and Mercer County. To learn

more visit

Brown says the event will be "the genuine article, just

like it’s done in Scotland and England." The evening will

include a five-course dinner with turkey and salmon

Scottish style, a wine/ beer/whiskey toast, a cash bar

with malt whiskey tasting, and a concert by Pennington’s

own Ward McCarthy on the bagpipes. McCarthy is head of the

local bagpipe and drum corps. "The Burns Supper is rather

unusual in this country, but people should know – they

don’t have to wear a kilt, they don’t have to eat the

haggis, and they don’t even have to recite a poem in

Scottish dialect," says Brown. "They should know there is

a lot of poetry, music, food, drink, and bagpiping. Lots

of fun and laughs for a good cause. What a way to spend a

long January winter evening!"

– Jamie Saxon

Robert Burns Supper, Saturday, January 27, 7 p.m., Pine

Creek Miniature Golf Course Clubhouse, 394 Route 31, West

Amwell (just north of the intersection of routes 518 and

31). $80 ticket includes $30 tax-deductible donation. For

tickets and information visit

burnsform.htm or call Marsha Brown at 609-737-2278.

Calling All Eye Candy

Some may think a celebrity is their ultimate eye candy; others may dream of a flashy sports car or a trip to a tropical island. For some, eye candy may mean the latest gaming device, a home makeover, or the latest in electronics. The

Ultimate Eye Candy, an online social networking community designed specifically for New Jersey residents, will be roaming the streets of New Jersey in a series of "casting calls" during which street teams will invite people to star in

online videos where they describe what they believe to be their own "ultimate eye candy." Current videos on the brand new website,, feature New Jersey residents describing everything from their grandchildren to a

box of chocolate cookies as their "ultimate eye candy."

These responses are part of an interactive online reality game show starring Stephenie LaGrossa, the popular personality from CBS’ hit TV show "Survivor" and a New Jersey resident. Over the next two weeks, street teams will travel

throughout the towns of Bound Brook, Long Branch, Cranford, Metropark, Wyckoff, Oradell, Princeton, Hamilton, Ridgewood, Asbury Park and Haddonfield.

On Saturday, January 27, they will visit the Courtyard by Marriott, 3815 Route 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will have their interviews recorded and posted to the Ultimate Eye Candy website for the chance to win the Ultimate Eye

Candy prize. For the four weeks, visitors to the website will experience "Ultimate Eye Candy Island," where they will have the chance to vote for their favorite contestant’s ultimate eye candy, gradually winnowing the number of

participants to one "survivor" eligible for the grand prize of an HDTV, DLP plasma screen TV. Visitors to the site will also be eligible for prizes like video iPods.

According to a press statement, "Interviewees should be encouraged to be as imaginative as possible: the sky is the limit on Eye Candy Island."

Casting Call, Saturday, January 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Ultimate Eye Candy, Courtyard Marriott, 3815 Route 1, 609-716-7662. A social networking community for New Jersey residents has a street team visit to record participants for an

interactive online reality show. Pre-register by E-mail at Anyone over the age of 18 years and a United States resident is eligible to participate.

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