NYC's Tartan Week Parade

Wednesday, 18 April 2018
If I've learnt one thing about Americans, it's that they love to tell you about their heritage. No American is American. They are half Irish, a quarter Scottish, one eight Polish and one eight French Polynesian. Alter nationalities as required. The upside to that, when you're a little Scottish girl far away from home, is that they'll have parades to celebrate. Which is how I found myself on 6th Avenue on Saturday the 7th of April to watch NYC's Tartan Week Parade. 

Tartan Week is an annual thing in New York City, where Scots and fans of Scotland come together to celebrate Scottish heritage and the contributions that Scots have made to the city. No idea where they got the dates of early April from but I'm not complaining. 

I have to admit, that it made me a little emotional to watch the parade and hear all the music. Homesickness has hit me hard this year, I'm not embarrassed to admit that. And so the parade brought a great deal of happiness to me and a great deal of pride but also some watery eyes and a heavy heart. 

I'm sure the bagpipes could be heard around for miles, there were so many of them!

One of my favourite parts of the parade was when Walkers Shortbread brought out a tonne of Scottie dogs. Many of whom were also sporting their own tartans. I'm sure none of them had a clue what was going on. But they were definitely enjoying the attention!

The second doggie instalment of the festival was a selection of Shetland sheepdogs running on their little legs. Not the most organised group of marchers (one of the marchers was joking someone could throw in a ball and cause total chaos).

One thing that I hadn't realised was that most of the Scottish Universities were represented at the parade, with students and alumni marching. If I'd known, maybe I would have signed up to march with Edinburgh!

I'd read online that KT Tunstall was supposed to be performing but we didn't see her anywhere so I'm not sure if she actually was there. But anyway, it was a great day!

Alba gu bràth. 

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