News: Billy Connolly Leads New York Parade

billy connolly parade

Billy Connolly has led 3,000 marchers along 6th Avenue as part of the world-famous New York City Tartan Day Parade. 30,000 spectators watched the 21st anniversary of Tartan Day, which saw more than 3,000 participants march from 44th Street to 55th Street up Sixth Avenue. 

The procession was made up of solo pipers, drummers, highland dancers and Scottish clans and full pipe bands.  The famous parade pups also made their annual appearance and, this year, the beloved competition was judged by internationally acclaimed psychologist and wife of Sir Billy Connolly, Dr. Pamela Stephenson.  There were five groups of Celtic canines taking part - Scotties, Westies, Dandie Dinmonts, Golden Retrievers and Shetland Sheepdogs – who won over the crowds as they marched along with the bands.  

The New York City Tartan Day Parade is the highlight of a week of celebrations, commonly known as New York City Tartan Week, which sees a full programme of special events taking place throughout Manhattan, including traditional Scottish dance workshops, kilt fittings, band performances and ceilidhs popping up in venues such as Bryant Park, The Tailor Pub and Carnegie Hall.

Sir Billy Connolly, CBE, Grand Marshal of New York City Tartan Day Parade, said: “I’ve absolutely loved being Grand Marshal of this year’s New York City Tartan Day Parade. The crowds were brilliant and hearing the skirl of the pipes echoing along Sixth Avenue made me dance a wee jig in my heart.  What a day.”

Kyle Dawson, President of the New York Tartan Day Committee, said: “What an incredible 21st year this has been for New York City Tartan Week. We’ve enjoyed a phenomenal week of celebrations - from ceilidhs to workshops and pipe bands performances to parties. We had the great honor of welcoming Sir Billy Connolly as Grand Marshal of this year’s NYC Tartan Day Parade and saw tens of thousands of people line the sidewalks of Sixth Avenue to cheer on our participants. I’d like to thank everyone for their outstanding work – from our wonderful sponsors, to volunteers and marchers.  Because of you, New York has enjoyed a tremendous tartan takeover. Here’s to year 22!”

Graeme Dey, Scotland's Veterans Minister said:  "The annual Tartan Day celebrations are always a spectacular showcase of Scotland. I am delighted that Sir Billy Connolly, who has made such a significant contribution to Scottish culture, is leading this year's parade."

 

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