Robert Burns Society plans traditional Scottish New Year's Eve

NEIGHBORS

December 27, 1993|By LYN BACKE

Karolyn St. Clair has a great sense of humor. When I called to ask about "the unpronounceable New Year's Eve party," she laughed and said "HOG-ma-Nay." Between us we couldn't come up with the origin of the word, but it's the traditional Scottish New Year's Eve Celebration, and it's being hosted by the Robert Burns Society at the Moose Club in Annapolis, beginning at 8:30 p.m.

Hogmanay's traditions include dancing, eating and "first footing," wherein the first person to cross your threshold after the New Year brings good luck if he's tall, dark, handsome and carrying symbolic coal. In some of the circles I've traveled in, the standards for tall, dark, or handsome can get rather blurred by midnight on New Year's Eve, but the folk image is surely as viable as Father Christmas, who was very much with us last week. (Where does Santa Claus go to recover?)

The 11th annual Hogmanay celebration on Friday is $20 per person, which includes beer, wine and sodas, champagne at midnight and a supper of meat pies, bridies, peas and baked beans -- a veritable Hogmanay feast. There's Scottish ballroom and modern dancing, spot dancing and the lovely acoustic music of a dulcimer.

Gentlemen are encouraged to wear traditional Scottish attire or coat and tie; ladies have leeway, but it's a fine time to be classically elegant. The Moose Club is at 2570 Housely Road, opposite the new end of Bestgate Road. Turn left from Sam's or right from Crownsville; the hall is at the end of the road.

For more information, call Karolyn or George St. Clair at 721-7550.

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New Year's Eve in Annapolis also means First Night, an alcohol-free celebration throughout downtown that features myriad performances, displays, exhibits and revels, all free after the purchase of a First Night button. They're $12 at Giant Stores, at Fawcett's Boat Supplies until New Year's Eve and at seven "Button Buggies" around town on New Year's Eve. One of the "Button Buggies" will be at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, where there is free parking for First Night. Shuttle buses into and around town are also free.

New entertainment this year includes world- and Olympic-class skaters with the Ice Theater of New York at Dahlgren Hall at the Naval Academy, and "African Portraits," a musical narrative of African tribal life performed by the New Renaissance Chamber Artists at the Banneker-Douglass Museum on Franklin Street.

In all, First Night will feature more than 250 performances at over 50 sites. For scheduling information, call 787-2717.

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The HIV Social Group, operating out of Crownsville offers companionship and social gatherings in a confidential and quiet setting. For more information, write in confidence to Positive Seekers, P.O. Box 426, Crownsville, 21032.

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The annual Holiday Show at the Maryland Federation of Art's Gallery on the Circle, 18 State Circle in Annapolis, runs through Jan. 4.

While Christmas ornaments and gifts were part of the show, there's lots left for yourself -- or just enjoy what our Maryland craftsmen and artists produce. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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Another great thing for a family to do on a Saturday is to visit the Doll House at the Barge House Museum, 133 Bay Shore Ave. in Eastport, at the foot of Second Street. When I described the exhibit two weeks ago, I inadvertently left out its hours. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through the end of March.

For more information about the Richwood Doll House and other Barge House Museum activities, call Peg Wallace at 268-1802.

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A very special resource has left downtown Annapolis, and while the move may well be best for services throughout the county, the YWCA will be missed. The new headquarters are in Suite 201, 1517 Ritchie Highway in Arnold. The Corner Shop and Book Store will reopen in the new facility in April.

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I hesitate to write this in advance, lest by Monday I be proved once again wrong, but the "Winter on the Chesapeake" musical tribute on Jan. 15 at Maryland Hall seems a name chosen from wishful thinking rather than fact. I like this relative balminess.

But balmy will hardly be the word at Maryland Hall: it will be hot, with performances by Prevailing Winds, Charlie Byrd and Trapezoid. Prevailing Wind has a repertoire of woodwind quintet standards and special arrangements of jazz and classics, with a program that encourages audience participation.

Trapezoid is a folk group praised for their artful blending of instruments and vocal harmonies. Their sources are American and Irish songs, swing, jazz, and chamber music. Charlie Byrd is . . . well, Charlie Byrd.

Tickets at $20 ($18 for Maryland Hall members) are available at the box office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is located at 801 Chase St. in Annapolis.

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