From kilts to scarves, ties, and tams, attendees at the 29th annual Burns Nicht Supper donned their tartan best Sunday night. Undaunted by a blizzard on Saturday that forced a postponement, the Scottish Society of Martha’s Vineyard turned out in high spirits to share in haggis, bagpipes and the poetry of Scotland’s beloved bard, Robert Burns, in celebration of his 257th birthday.

Master of ceremonies Chris Scott called for a moment of silence after the Patriots's loss. — Mark Lovewell

Master of ceremonies Chris Scott began the event with a moment of silence for the “late great New England Patriots,” who narrowly missed returning to the Super Bowl this year with a loss just before the start of the supper.

Led by Tony Peaks on the bagpipes, the procession of the haggis featured Harbor View executive chef Caleb Lara promenading with the Scottish treat whose contents are better left unknown. Edgartown harbor master Charlie Blair had blessed it. Robert Mackay, founding member of the Martha’s Vineyard Scottish Society, recited the Ode to a Haggis. Though Mr. Mackay was unable to attend the event, he sent in a video recording where he recited the eight-stanza poem from memory on his first attempt. It was his 17th time performing the recitation.

“That was special. That goes into the Scottish Society archives,” said society president Edward Pierce. “He did that from the heart and from memory.”

Event featured songs both bawdy and mournful. — Mark Lovewell

Then, as all good Scots do, they toasted the haggis. As the night went on, a good many toasts were made. To the president of the United States, Dr. James Butterick read a rowdy poem that went so far as to riff on the presidential hopefuls, and Rick Hamilton reflected on Queen Elizabeth 2nd’s popularity and longevity in his toast to the Queen.

Steve Ewing, poet laureate of Edgartown, read a poem he wrote after a trip to an Island called Muck in Scotland. Dedicated to the founders and past members of the society. the poem ended with:

And may we talk again
If we’re spared

The Sangs ‘n’ Clatter were narrated by Liz Villard, who in between songs both bawdy and mournful shared tidbits of history about the bard, Mr. Burns.

“In our troubled world, the final words of this poem are still a rallying cry for peace and understanding,” she said before the Scottish Society singers performed Honest Poverty.

Though there was a slight disagreement over whether Burns’s favorite subject was love or women, all agreed that Willie Stewart is a bouncing delightful song, best sung with a drink in hand. Choral director Philip Dietterich played the keyboard with a broad grin, rising to conduct the a capella portions of the songs.

Edgartown poet laureate Steve Ewing read a poem inspired by Island of Muck in Scotland. — Mark Lovewell

Raffle and auction items ranging from a knit hat to a sunset cruise raised money to benefit the Scottish Society high school scholarship fund.

The biggest cheer went up when the Harbor View bartenders joined in the action, bidding on and winning a harbor tour.

Pieces of Martha’s Vineyard District Tartan were also on sale. Philip D. Smith Jr. designed the Vineyard tartan, which features blue for the sea, white for the surf, green for the Island and black for the early Island mariners lost at sea.

Toasts continued to the laddies and the lassies and to all Scots, the world ‘round.

Mr. Pierce thanked all those who worked to make the event possible, as well as those who attended and Robert Burns himself. "If it wasn’t for him, and you, we wouldn’t be here,” he said cheekily.