Scottish Americans Head To Midtown For Tartan Day Parade
April 6, 2013 4:45 PM
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Scottish heritage and pride were on display Saturday at the 15th annual New York Tartan Day Parade.
The parade stepped off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Sixth Avenue and 45th Street in Midtown, and headed north to 55th Street. It marks the observance of National Tartan Day.
The first parade in 1999 was composed of only two pipe bands and a small, spirited group of Scottish-Americans — including grand marshal Cliff Robertson. They walked from the British Consulate to the United Nations.
Since, the parade has ballooned to a much larger event, with many bands and thousands of participants.
In 2002, the parade moved to Sixth Avenue for the first time.
Among the participants this year were numerous pipe and drum bands, Scottish dance groups, representatives of historic Scottish clans. Kevin McKidd of Gray’s Anatomy fame served as grand marshal – and yes, he did wear a kilt.
Tartan Day marks the Declaration of Arbroath – the Scottish Declaration of Independence – which was signed on April 6, 1320. Organizers noted that the governors of nine of the original 13 states were of Scottish descent, as were almost half of those who signed the American Declaration of Independence.
Scottish independence: Kevin McKidd backs yes vote By Glenn Campbell
Hollywood actor Kevin McKidd has said he would vote for Scottish independence if he was allowed to have a say in next year's referendum.
The Scottish star of Grey's Anatomy, Brave and Trainspotting cannot take part in the historic ballot because he now lives in California.
McKidd, 39, said he was "sorry" not to be able to help determine his country's future.
"If I could vote, I'd vote 'yes'," he told BBC Scotland.
About four million people, resident in Scotland, will be asked to decide whether or not it should be independent from the rest of the UK in a ballot on 18 September 2014.
McKidd offered his support for a breakaway as he prepared to lead the 15th annual Tartan Day parade in New York, celebrating Scottish-American culture.
"A lot of people think we're all gonna fall flat on our face if we do this," he said. "We're too feisty a people to let things turn bad if we went and tried it. Why not? Why not try at least?"
McKidd, who is originally from Elgin in north east Scotland, described himself as a "proud" Scot and linked his nationality to his success in America.
The actor was Grand Marshal of the event which is now in its 15th year "I think, definitely, being Scottish has made my life easier," he said. "It seems to open doors over here. Americans seem to think we're exotic!"
The actor, who plays Dr Owen Hunt in the hit TV series Grey's Anatomy, still cannot quite believe his own screen success.
"I'm just a teuchter from Elgin really," he said. "I'm doing all this acting and I'm directing now and I'm living in Hollywood - it seems bizarre to me."
Declaration of Arbroath
His mother and father travelled to the US from Scotland to walk with him in his role as Grand Marshal of the Tartan Day parade.
About 2,000 people marched along New York's Sixth Avenue to celebrate the role Scots played in building America.
The parade is held on or around 6 April each year - the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath which asserted Scottish independence in 1320.
Previous Grand Marshal's have included the screen stars Sir Sean Connery, Brian Cox and Alan Cumming, who have also expressed support for independence.
Opinion polls tend to suggest that about a third of adults living in Scotland agree with them.
The Yes Scotland campaign is trying to persuade a majority of voters that Scotland would be wealthier and fairer as an independent country.
On the other side of the debate, the Better Together campaign argues that Scotland has greater financial security as part of the UK.
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Oct 27, 2015 2:00:45 GMT -5
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Jun 29, 2020 9:05:56 GMT -5