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A Terrific Blend of Tartans on Display as the Scottish Took Over 6th Avenue

18 Apr
Let’s Get This Party Started

The 25th annual Tartan Parade pulled out all the stops this year with several pipes and drums bands coming from Scotland and even as far away as Australia. It was a special treat to have these guests visit the Big Apple and they did not disappoint. They performed their hearts out and showed the thousands of revelers along the parade route on 6th Avenue from 44h to 55th streets just what Scottish culture looks like. Hundreds of blue and white flags were draped over the iron railings on 6th Avenue letting everyone know the Scottish have taken over for a few hours. As usual, the mounted police let the crowd know the parade was under way around 2pm. This year’s honored Grand Marshal is the famous UK Scottish television personality, Ms. Gail Porter.

Local Pipes and Drum Band
Talented High School Band from Scotland

Visiting the Big Apple From Down Under
Man’s Best Friend Gets In On the Action

Although this is a young parade by NYC standards, it is becoming more popular and is the end of Tartan Week which is the largest celebration of Scottish culture in NYC and possibly outside of the UK. Once the estimated 1500 marchers made their way onto the parade route, the large city tour bus with a host to announce participants was set up on 51st street just north of the iconic Radio City Music Hall. Just a few blocks up from there was another city tour bus with the Grand Marshal and her VIPs. Parade marchers got to greet parade VIPs and put on a little show for them. Once again perennial favorites Shamrock and Thistle Pipes and Drum Band from Ocean County NJ presented tunes while wearing their signature yellow and black tartan. The Pipes and Drum of New Hampshire also made their appearance. The international section were the highlight of the parade with groups visiting from Canada, Scotland, and Australia.

Grand Marshal Gail Porter (far right) enjoying the event
Shamrock and Thistle Pipe and Drum Band Getting Ready
Lindsay School of Dancing Showing Off their Moves

In this parade, Scottish family clans from across the country reunite and walk the parade route as a big happy group. However, the one group that always steals the show and hearts of many are the shelties and collies. These breeds are highly sought after by the Scottish and make great pets. Some of the more notable groups that made a great impression on parade revelers were Morrison Academy from Scotland. They were amazing. The Lindsay School of Dancing were having a great time at the parade. Coming way up from down under were the Sydney, Australia based The Scots College Pipe and Drum Band. It was great to see two returning schools from Scotland to perform like true champions. St. Columba’s School and Oban High School from Scotland were one of the best parts of the parade. Bringing up the rear of the parade and probably having the best time of anyone were the Vikings. They even adopted me for a day. As usual, some bands unite at the end of the parade route for an impromptu jam session that everyone really gets into. It was a great day to be Scottish and honor their contribution to the fabric of NYC.

See Ya Next Year

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