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The Bonnie Knees Contest

As we enter into the 16th Annual Robbie Burns Night the anticipation is building. Steeped in traditions, this event was the first event hosted by the Flagstaff Scottish Club. The array of fine Scotch Whiskey, the rich haggis, the droning melody of pipes to the beat of great drums. The night begins as people filter in, greeting old friends, taking in the ambience building to a great feast and concluding with a raucous party as Fraid Knot takes it away with their celtic rock music and iconic accordion playing. The accordionist has more than musical talent as he was also the winner of last year’s Bonnie Knees contest.

If you’ve been to a previous Robbie Burns night you’ve seen this odd tradition. Lads lined up standing on chairs, kilts resting properly atop the knee and trousers yanked up poofing at the thighs (looking much like Big Bird if I do say so myself) to expose that most bonnie of joints. A blindfolded lass led along the line, hands outstretched to scrutinize the feel of each pair of knobbly knees. Feeling for shape, muscle, texture, hair or the lack thereof. Narrowing down her choices as she goes, dismissing the lesser gents joints to reveal the cream of the crop, the bonniest of knees.

If you are new to this event you might be wondering where in the world these crazy scots got this idea. The founders of our club got the idea from a friend of theirs who said she would really like to feel the lead singer's knees. The contest was then adopted into the first Robbie Burns Dinner and has continued on ever since. Even Covid couldn’t stop this great tradition as participants posted their knee pics online.

Now what makes a knee Bonnie? I reached out to one of the members of the club who has won competitions in the past for his knee care routine. He responded “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.”

Wishing to remain alive, I contacted the winner of last year’s Bonnie knees contest and accordion player of Fraid Knot who was more forthcoming with his secrets to success.

Danny’s tips to Bonnie Knees:

Step 1: Begin by serenading your knees with a soul-stirring accordion 

performance, preferably a Celtic rock rendition with a touch of bagpipe 


Step 2: Apply a splash of Scotch-infused moisturiser, ensuring your knees enjoy 

the full flavour. In my case, something from Central Bar in Leith, where my Great Grandparents came from. Something on special and cheap enough that my gullet nae misses it.

Step 3: Rally your Fraid Knot bandmates for a knees-up accordion jam session, 

infusing your skincare routine with the harmonious spirit of Celtic rock camaraderie. If lacking the band in close proximity, apply a Spotify rendition. 

Step 4: Embrace your inner flirtatious nature which adds to the softening effects 

on knees not just to moisturizer, but also to the tender touches of local admirers, including those adventurous enough to journey all the way to New Zealand.

Step 5: Conclude the ritual with a heartfelt toast to your knees, symbolizing the 

unique blend of Scottish roots, Eastern Alberta connections, and the joyous journey of Fraid Knot’s musical adventures.

So there you have it. Everything you could need to triumph in this year’s Bonnie Knees Competition. We hope to see you and your knees at this year’s Robbie Burns Night!


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