New York Tartan Day to welcome parade members

Tartan Day has become one of the biggest celebrations in New York – and the 2020 celebration of all things Scottish is set to be just as big.

April 6 has been officially – by Presidential Proclamation – designated as National Tartan Day in the United States.

A day for recognising Scottish and Scottish-American contributions to the United States, and for celebrating Scottish heritage and pride, the highlight of a week of events is the Tartan Day Parade.

This is held annually on a Saturday closest to the 6th, and in 2020, will take place on 4 April. The parade features bagpipe bands playing Scottish music, thousands of marchers dressed in tartan, many more proudly representing their clans, plus a slew of groups and associations celebrating Scottish heritage.

Groups and individuals are invited to march in the 22nd annual Tartan Day Parade by registering at nyctartanweek.org. There is no charge to march in, or to attend the parade.

In 1999 the Tartan Day Parade was held, consisting of two pipe bands and a small but spirited group of Scottish Americans, including Grand Marshal, Oscar-winning actor Cliff Robertson, walked from the British Consulate to the United Nations.

The event has grown dramatically since then and marches proudly up 6th Avenue. In 2019, Sir Billy Connolly led the procession. Other parades have previously been led by Sir Sean Connery, Alan Cumming, Brian Cox, Trainspotting star Kevin McKidd, and Sam Heughan from Outlander.

In 2003, Tartan Day became a non-profit to organise the parade, and to co-ordinate the events surrounding parade day. These events include the post parade party which is a fun event featuring Scottish bands, and Scottish beverages.

The activities have expanded to the point where it is now known as New York City Tartan Week with a flexible definition of ‘week’ to encompass all the activities.

It’s not just an event for humans, as included are the popular four-legged participants, the Dog Pack, comprising several Scottish dog breeds.

Members of the National Tartan Day New York Committee include the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York, the New York Caledonian Club, the American-Scottish Foundation, and Clan Campbell.

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