Getting fired up for Burns night

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The first-ever Robert Burns Humanitarian Award concert and an exciting Burns-themed fire garden are just two of the highlights of this year’s Alloway 1759 celebrations.

Alloway 1759 is a unique commemoration of the birthplace and life of Robert Burns and forms part of the year-round Burns an’ a’ that! Festival – this year celebrating its 15th anniversary and sponsored by Burns’ Crystal.

For 2016, the event runs from 21 to 25 January, with special ‘taster’ events also taking place the weekend before.

Alloway 1759 is supported by South Ayrshire Council and also receives support as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme of events.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, said: “Robert Burns’ words are recognised around the world and his poetry, writing and songs continue to be enjoyed by millions. Burns Night is a great opportunity to celebrate our Scottish identity and our National Bard. Alloway 1759 is a unique commemoration with something for everyone to enjoy.

“The celebrations are part of the Scottish Government’s Winter Festivals programme, which this year has been provided with a record £390,000 of funding to support 21 key cultural events in 15 local authority areas across the country.”

The first-ever Robert Burns Humanitarian Award Concert takes place on Thursday 21 January at the Brig o’ Doon Hotel, Ayr. A limited number of tickets are now available for this exciting event, which will be compered by actress Libby McArthur and features musical entertainment from the fantastic Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire, with support from Eilidh Grant with Neil Sturgeon on guitar.

There will also be tension in the air as the winner of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2016 will be announced on the night – the first-time the award has been presented at a public event! Three as-yet-to-be announced finalists are in the running for this much sought-after award, which has been on the go since 2002. Tickets for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award Concert are on sale now from www.ayrgaiety.co.uk or 01292 288235. Make sure you don’t miss out and get yours now.

On Friday 22 January, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) Ayr campus is opening its doors to showcase the work of students who are following in Rabbie’s creative footsteps. Saturday 23 January promises to be a feast for the senses, with a unique Victorian-themed fire garden in honour of Scotland’s famous poet. ‘Burns Aflame’ celebrates a festival held in 1844 which took place at the Burns Monument overlooking the Brig o’ Doon. Back then, 100,000 people gathered to commemorate the life of the talented Bard. 172 years later, this event will be recreated with spectacular flame-lined paths and scorching sculptural trees all surrounding the majestic Burns Monument. There will also be fire-breathing flowers reminiscent of the floral arches carried by people 172 years ago.