This weekend in NYC!
What is Tartan Week?
It started with one day.
April 6 is National Tartan Day, which was memorialized in 1998 by the U.S. Senate to recognize the contributions of Scottish-Americans. The next year, a small group of Scottish-Americans gathered with two pipe bands and marched from the British consulate to the United Nations building. The procession has grown substantially in its 21 years to include hundreds of pipes and thousands of spectators.
It wasn’t until 2002 that the National Tartan Day New York Committee was formed to organize Tartan-themed events. There were so many that they decided to celebrate it all during “Tartan Week.”
“Tartan” is actually the plaid fabric that Scottish clansmen would wear on their kilts. Clans today still have official tartans attributed to their names, too.
“There remains an intrinsic link between the American and the Scottish people, especially in New York,” McCuish said. “There is a huge and enthusiastic Scottish diaspora in America, but the ties go deeper than that; there is a sense of aligned culture and purpose. Scotland is one of the most inclusive and welcoming countries in the world — we don’t shy away from strangers, we talk to them, we dance with them, and we engage with them. New York is the perfect location for this ethos to flourish.”
So, when is it?
It all kicks off on April 1 and wraps up on April 8.
When and where is the parade?
On Saturday, April 6, pipers and drummers will step off at 2 p.m. on Sixth Avenue at West 45th Street and march to 55th Street.
Who will we see in the parade?
Sir Billy Connolly, the stand-up comedian, musician and actor who the Scotts nicknamed the “Big Yin,” is leading the parade as grand marshal, followed by solo pipers, full pipe bands, drummers, highland dancers, Scottish clans in kilts and excitingly, Scottish dogs. (The dogs will be judged in a competition by Connolly’s wife, Dr. Pamela Stephenson, who is an acclaimed psychologist.)
“I’m thrilled to be this year’s grand marshal of the New York City Tartan Day Parade,” Connolly said in a statement on nyctartanweek.org. “I can’t wait to hear all those bagpipes echoing off the skyscrapers and to see Sixth Avenue awash with thousands of swaying kilts. It’s going to be brilliant.”
Past grand marshals have included actor Sean Connery (2002), actor Alan Cumming (2009), KT Tunstall (2018) and many others.
Some ambitious person posted this picture on Facebook of the Escape arriving in the early hours this morning.
After leisurely packing, we met our son and wife for breakfast at Blue Bottle Coffee, then off to do a bit of shopping for things folks forgot to pack. To Michael’s to retrieve my iPad that I left there yesterday, then back to the Courtyard by Marriott New York Downtown Manhattan/World Trade Center Area to finish packing.
We Ubered over to Pier 88. Pier 90 is still not fixed from when a Carnival Cruise hit it a few weeks ago.
Checking in was quite painless, but waiting for the elevators to get to the Garden Cafe is always a PITA. Everyone wants to eat and there’s not really anything else to do yet.
As soon as they called the cabins open, the Cafe cleared out.
Our luggage arrived almost as soon as we did. I checked out the balcony, of course, and it’s hot out there.
Not much exciting. We read for a while on the balcony, had dinner, checked out the other decks to see what’s here, walked around the decks and an early bed.