Tag Archives: tartan parade

Colorful Tartans on Display as the Scottish Take Over 6th Avenue

7 Apr

Leading the Way

     The culmination of a week long festival known as Tartan Week occurred with a proud display of Scottish culture and colorful tartans. This young parade of just 21 years is growing more and more in popularity with more people visiting from Scotland for the event. It also helped that the warm early April weather invited tens of thousands to line up the parade route on 6th Avenue from 44th to 56th streets. Flags were draped over the railing and revelers waved flags in anticipation of a fun day with plenty of pipe and drum bands marching up the parade route. As usual, the mounted police signaled the start of the parade and the fanfare started right away with this years Grand Marshall, Sir Billy Connolly, waving to his fans.


Sir Billy Connolly and wife Pamela Stephenson


Mt. Kisco Scottish Pipes and Drum Rock the Parade


Honorary Young Fireman, Ross, enjoying the moment


     Leading the large array of pipe and drum bands were the perennial favorites Mt. Kisco Scottish Pipe and Drum Marching Band. They always do a great job in getting the crowd worked up. Various influential Scottish organizations made their way up the route including the Scottish-American Foundation and Carnegie Hall.  The FDNY Pipe and Drum Band appointed Ross, a young visitor from Scotland, as an honorary marcher with the group. Young Ross wants to be a fireman when he grows up. Right behind them were another favorite with an assortment of colorful tartans. The Pipes and Drum of Tir na nOg got a loud cheer from the crowd and a salute from the emcee at the reviewing stand on 52nd St.  A group that has marched from the very first parade are the Shamrock and Thistle Pipe and Drum Band from New Jersey.


Shamrock and Thistle Pipe and Drum Band


Shelties Stealing Hearts


One Woman Wrecking Crew


     One of the most welcomed groups are always the Westies. Everybody loves it when the dogs bring their owners for a walk up the parade route. Of course some of them wear their best threads for the occasion. Soon after them some Scottish dancers show off  their moves. Of course, the parade always lets its mascot loose. Good old Nessie greeted the crowd. A newer group surprised the revelers when NH Scot Pipes and Drum played with heart and precision. Everyone was impressed with a large group in from Scotland. An award winning North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Bands showed the crowd why they are number one. A local band from Kearny, NJ always represents what the parade is all about. The Scots American Club Pipe and Drum Band are always impressive. After the parade closes, many marchers head over to 55th Street for an impromptu jam session where they play until they get kicked out.  Rebels to the end. Gotta love it.



See Ya Next Year



Scots Send in the Warriors on Sixth Ave.

7 Apr

Tartan Parade -2013

A young but spirited parade culminated a week long celebration known as Tartan Week this past Saturday. In this the 11th year of the Tartan Parade, Scottish pride and heritage were displayed along the 10 block parade route. Finally a hint of warmer weather was felt on the sunny side of 6th Ave. where the NYPD mounted police signaled the start of the parade. The thousands of revelers were treated to view the Grand Marshall, actor Kevin McKidd as he waved to the crowd. Parade dignitaries and members of the Scottish Parliament walked up the parade route and then the fun began. The first of 17 pipe and drum bands made their entrance to the delight of the spirited crowd. The NYMetro Pipe Band were an excellent warm up band for the heavy hitters coming up.  Coming in from Scotland in their second parade appearance was The Accrington Pipe Band, the oldest civilian pipe band in the UK. They set the standard for how a pipe and drum band should appear and sound. They were amazing. Serving as a reminder of the goodness in human spirit was the Stephen P Driscoll Memorial Pipe Band. Officer Driscoll attempted to save trapped victims on the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center and was killed but his memory endures. The band played great in his honor.

The Accrington Pipe BandStephen P Driscoll Memorial BandWestie walking her friend

Plenty of clans displayed the family banner throughout the parade. Some even had their own pipe and drum band but nothing compares to a parade favorite with their distinctive yellow tartans, The Shamrock and Thistle Pipe and Drum Band from Ocean County, NJ. This year the band marched with greater pride for overcoming the devastation that superstorm Sandy brought upon some band members lives.  The show stealer every year goes to the four legged friends and their escorts..the Westies and Scottish terriers win the hearts of revelers all the time. It’s a good thing there was some distance between the hounds and the Braveheart warriors. They had extra troops in this year and had sharpened axes this time around. Closing out the parade were the talented Celtic Dancers with a spirited dance for the crowd to enjoy. But the fun just didn’t finish at the end of the parade route. Bands gathered on 56th St. and the celebration continued on with plenty of Scottish smiles and good times.

Shamrock & Thistle Pipe and Drum BandSt. Andrews Clan DonaldClan BuchananClan CurrySomerset HighlandersBraveheart WarriorsScottish RevelersCeltic DancersDrummer after paradeTunes of Glory Band leaderBands jamming after paradeThanks for watchingOff with their heads

Sword Dancing Pleases at the Tartan Parade

16 Apr


As part of the finale of the much celebrated Tartan Week, the 10th annual Tartan Parade made its way up 6th Ave. celebrating Scottish heritage and culture.  This young parade boasts many pipe and drum bands from the tristate area and from Canada. Musicians were getting warmed up on the side streets near 44th off 6th Ave, when the mounted police announced the start of the parade followed by the lead band, the US Military Academy at West Point. This years Grand Marshal, actor Brian Cox of Bourne Supremacy fame, passed by waving to the crowd while the representatives from the Scottish Parliament brought up the next group.   Then the fun started when the lively NY Metro Pipe Band played a favorite tune that got the crowd riled up. The lead marcher for the Atlantic Watch Pipes and Drum Band carried a long battle sword that looked as though it can cut you in half.  Did I mention they played very well.


A special treat came in the way of our neighbors up north. The Calgary Police Service Pipe Band and dancers made their entrance on to the parade route.  Tunes of Glory got the crowd ready for one of the best parts of the parade when the westies and terriers walked their owners up 6th Ave. Many clans and family of Scottish ancestry also represented their bloodline.  Representations of the 42nd Regiment Highland foot soldiers and the lovely ladies on horses drew lots of applause from the crowd  One of the more colorful tartan displays were from the Shamrock and Thistle Pipes and Drum band. Another crowd pleaser and closing out the parade were the NY Celtic Dancers performing the thousand year old Scottish sword dance.  As usual, after the parade a few bands get together on 55th St. and jam until the police break up the party, but until then, the Scottish bands kept the good feeling of a fun parade going strong.

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