Scotland comes to New York for Tartan Week

Scotland comes to New York for Tartan Week

Tartan Day Parade, New York
Tartan Day Parade, New York (Photo credit: Jazz Guy)

The American-Scottish Foundation, The Saint Andrew’s Society, along with many other organisations and individual supporters reconvene annually to coordinate a fantastic set of events and festivities to celebrate Scottish heritage in America. This week of Scottish-themed entertainment has grown out of a single day, National Tartan Day, and it now incorporates a multitude of activities, festivals and performers. Some of the events have already begun, but Tartan Week officially begins on Monday.

“National Tartan Day”, which is marked on the 6th of April each year, commemorates and jubilates the American-Scottish connection. It first started in 1998 when Senator Trent Lott successfully lobbied to designate April the 6th as National Tartan Day “to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States”. It is said that currently around 6 million Americans are of Scottish decent, and many of the Founding Fathers were at least part Scottish. This year in New York, Monday the 6th of April will host The Tartan Day Observance which recognises and celebrates this connection through readings, music and plenty of Scottish-inspired festivities!

After the official National Tartan Day follows a week of events in the name of American Scots and Scottish Americans. On Friday the 10th there will be a “Street-style gathering” in the evening which will demonstrate and revel in Scottish fashion and creative design. Exhibitors and designers will bring Scotland to New York, and will also be involved in the Tartan Day Parade the following day.

Scottie Dog in a kilt
New York Scottie Dogs don their kilts to celebrate their heritage! (Photo credit: Jazz Guy)

On the day of the parade, Saturday the 11th of April, the city of New York will be buzzing with pre-parade festivities. Pipes and drums from some of the state’s leading bands will begin the day in Bryant Park before merging with the parade. Later on, the highly popular pre-prarade ceilidh kicks off at the New York Caledonian Club with Scottish dancing, music, food and drink!

Of course, all these events culminate in the highly anticipated Tartan Parade on April 11th. Hundreds of pipers and drummers, clan representatives, associations, societies, people of Scottish decent, people who just want to join in and even dozens of Scottish Terriers will be marching to show their love and appreciation for our long established cross-continental friendship. The organisers require registration if you wish to participate, but as a spectator the whole day is completely free and open to everyone.

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