Tag Archives: tartanweek

Scots Bring Out Their Best Threads For the Tartan Parade

9 Apr
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Ready To March

     The grand finale of a week long festival known as TartanWeek is always the annual parade up 6th Ave. where the Scottish put on a fine display of dress and pipe and drum bands. Growing in popularity over its 20 years, the Tartan Parade always draws thousands of fellow Scottish pats to come out and cheer on their favorite groups. Although it was probably warmer in Glasgow than in NYC, the eager crowd was lined up around the start of the parade on 44th St and cheered the marchers to the end on 54th St. where a tour bus with parade VIPs and this years Grand Marshall KT Tunstall greeted all the marchers. As usual, the mounted police signaled the start of the parade with honorary lead pipe and drums band from West Point at the front getting the crowd worked up for a fun day of music, marchers, and passing of tradition.

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Grand Marshall KT Kunstall

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Getting the Parade Started

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Shamrock & Thistle Pipes and Drum Band

 

     There were plenty of pipes and drum bands to keep the crowd entertained. The NY Caledonian Club brought their A game but not to be outdone were perennial favorites the NY Metro Pipes and Drum Band and the always impressive Shamrock and Thistle Pipes and Drum Band. Another favorite were the Highland Dancers and always a heart stealer are the Welsh Terriers and a newcomer to the event from Long Island were the Shetland Sheepdog Rescue Group showing off their latest arrivals. This years parade had a more organic feel to it as more groups were displaying banners promoting fair trade and getting back to a simpler way of living. It was no coincidence that a large group from St. Andrews made their presence felt as the big Masters golf tournament was being played in Augusta, Georgia. Golf was first played in St. Andrew’s golf course sometime in the 1400s.

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Proud Canadian Having Fun at the Parade

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Welsh Terriers Steal the Show

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Highland Dancers

     A welcome presence is always the foreign connection to the Scottish culture. This year Canada had a large group that played music with pride. The Forest Legion Group had a blast and really got the crowd worked up. There’s always a group from Scotland that performs at the parade and this year the honor was bestowed upon Sgoil Lionacleit. They played in honor of one of their fallen victims of the Manchester bombing, Eilidh MacLeod.  Although they played with heavy hearts, the played magnificently with dancers leading the way in a show of strength and tradition. A parade just isn’t a parade without a marching band and this year the Homestead Highlanders from Wisconsin made sure the crowd knew they were there for a good time. One of the best pipe and drum bands is actually a combination of local bands. The bands from Middlesex County, NJ and Kearny Caledonians made their way up the parade route with one the best presentations. Once the parade is wrapped up, many musicians gather on 54th St. for an impromptu jam session until the police chase them away. It’s always a fun parade and keeps growing each year.

 

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See Ya Next Year…

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