Tag Archives: westies

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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