Scots are well represented across the world. Nowhere more so than in the Big Apple itself, New York. Tartan Week, each April, is a week-long event celebrating Scottish-American heritage. At the end of the week is the main event; the Tartan Day Parade.
What is the Tartan Day Parade?
In 1998, the U.S Senate decided that 6th April would be a National Day of Tartan. This was to recognise the contributions of Scottish-Americans to the United States of America.
Celebrations started small. In 1999, only two pipe bands and an enthusiastic group of proud Scottish Americans marched from the British Consulate to the UN. But today, the Tartan Week Parade is a huge event. Crowds of people line the street to cheer on the hundreds of pipers filling the city with Scottish music's rich sounds. The kilt-clad marchers proudly represent their clan, while many groups and associations celebrate their unique Scottish heritage. The days before the event are known as 'Tartan week' and are filled with Scottish themed events. And, in true Scottish style, that week can extend to two or three - by which time, we suppose, rather than been finished celebrating, people must have jobs to go back to!
Each year a Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshall is appointed. Famous faces such as Sean Connery, Allan Cumming and celebrated Scottish kilt designer Howie Nicholsby have all been bestowed this great honour. Even the Big Man himself, Billy Connolly, has taken a turn. Sadly, due to the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, 2021's parade will not go ahead in its traditional way. However, for the second year running, revellers can take part online in the Virtual Tartan Day Parade.
Take a look at the week’s events here.
New York Tartan Day Parade, 2022
You might be interested in attending the New York City Tartan Day Parade in the future, perhaps even in 2022. If that's the case, one - can we come? and two - you might be wondering what exactly you should wear. That is where we can help. New York City Tartan Day Parade guidelines state, "There is no theme or dress requirement for the parade. Kilts, tartan and anything that shows off your Scottish pride is obviously encouraged!" But with so many tartans to choose from, we know that it can be overwhelming, so let us take you through the options.
If you are looking for something unique to you, then there is no better way to show family pride than wearing the tartan of your very own clan! With many of the crowd sporting the tartan of their ancestors, it is lots of fun to name all the tartan you recognise. Whatever your family tartan, we can help you get kitted out in full highland wear. Just be sure to finish the look off with a Clan Crest Kilt Pin.
For ladies, pleated tartan skirts are great to wear on the march and look perfect with a black top and a Wool Tartan Sash over the shoulder. Alternatively, a tartan wrap would make a great addition to any outfit and keep you cosy if the weather is on the chilly side.
The parade's dress code leaves room for interpretation, and our kilts pair nicely with a cashmere jumper for a more casual style. If you are more comfortable without bare knees, there are plenty of options available. Tartan shirts or tartan trousers (but never together unless you want to convince us otherwise…) would be a great way to get into the spirit of the occasion. But, if you are not a fan of wearing too much tartan (unlikely, we think 😉), then a bag, hat or scarf might be an option. Our McNaughton Tartan Large Shopping Bag would definitely ensure you stood out in the 1000's strong gathering.
Whatever you decide to wear to express your Scottish heritage, the day is sure to be amazing. And so much better in a post-pandemic world when we are out the other side of such a challenging time for all of us.
Roll on Tartan Week 2022!