The History of the New York Tartan Day Parade:
The annual New York Tartan Day Parade began 19 years ago, in 1998, after the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 155, which officially recognized April 6th as Tartan Day. This was followed by companion bill House Resolution 41, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005. On April 4, 2008, President George W. Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation making April 6 National Tartan Day.
Tommy Flanagan – Image via nyctartanweek.org
In 1998, the first Tartan Day Parade, consisting of two pipe bands and a small but spirited group of Scottish Americans, was led by the very first Grand Marshal, Cliff Robertson.
Today the parade is a grand affair, featuring thousands of participants, including bands, dancers and clans.
On April 8, 2017, The Grand Marshal of the 19th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade will be Glasgow-born actor Tommy Flanagan.
The acclaimed actor has starred in Braveheart, Gladiator, and Alien vs Predator, as well as FX Network’s drama, Sons of Anarchy. He will be a starring role in the upcoming movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, Chapter 2.
Past Parade Grand Marshals:
From actors and screenwriters, to athletes and designers, the past New York Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshals have been talented Scots from all different walks of life.
Read about them here:
Sam Heughan, 2016
2016: Sam Heughan, Scottish actor best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in the Starz hit series Outlander.
2015: Co-Grand Marshals: Tricia Marwick, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament (2011-2016) and Graham McTavish, Scottish television and film actor with an extensive career including roles in Outlander and The Hobbit Trilogy.
2014: Howie Nicholsby, Kilt designer and owner of “21st Century Kilts” in Edinburgh.
2013: Kevin McKidd, Scottish-American actor best known for his roles in ABC series Grey’s Anatomy and film Trainspotting.
Kevin McKidd, 2013
2012: Brian Cox, acclaimed Scottish theatre and film actor who works with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
2011: Bob Winter, Lord Provost of Glasgow from 2007 until 2012.
2010: Rt. Hon. Alex Fergusson, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2007 until 2011.
2009: Alan Cumming, OBE, Tony, Emmy and Golden-Globe award-winning actor.
2008: Lawrence Tynes, Scottish-born former kicker for the New York Giants, winners of Super Bowl XVII.
2007: Rt. Hon. George Reid, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament from 2003 until 2007.
2006: Brigadier Melville Jameson, Producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo from 1994 until 2006.
2005: Randall Wallace, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Braveheart.
Sir Sean Connery, 2002
2002: Sir Sean Connery, Academy Award-winning actor and producer who was the first actor to portray James Bond in film.
1998: The late Cliff Robertson, Academy Award-winning actor with a film and television career that spanned half a century.