Monthly Archives: December 2014

4,000 Likes on Facebook! ASF Thanks You!

In celebration of 4,000 likes on Facebook, all of us at ASF would like to thank you for your continued support this year. What a delightful way to end 2014 and ring in the New Year!

As we approach 2015, we look forward to another incredible year of community and events, from our Burns Night Celebration Dinner on January 16 to the New York Tartan Day Parade on April 11, along with many more events and partner events throughout the year. Stay up-to-date on ASF’s goings-on via our website and Facebook events page.

We look forward to seeing you!


Helix Visitor’s Centre to Begin Construction in 2015

Starting January 12, 2015, a £1.45m visitor’s centre at Falkirk’s Helix Park will begin construction near the park’s famous Kelpies, reports BBC News.


The visitor’s centre was designed by Dundee architects Nicol Russel Studios following an international design competition, and will include many new additions, such as a restaurant, shopping area, visitor information and facilities, and an audio-visual experience.

The iconic sculptures are a high priority in the design of the new centre, and visitors’ views of the Kelpies will be preserved and uninterrupted. The new centre is designed to blend into the landscape around it using grass mounds and landscaped roof panes.

Park officials have estimated that 800,000 people have visited the site since the Kelpies opened in April – not including the traveling, 1:10 scale Kelpies Maquettes, which visited New York City’s Bryant Park last spring.

It is expected that the new centre should open in late summer 2015, according to culture, leisure and tourism spokesman Adrian Mahoney.

Burns Night is Approaching… Join Us in a Record-Breaking Song!

On Friday, January 16, 2015, the American-Scottish Foundation invites members and friends to join for the 20th annual Burns Night celebration, held in association with the University Club, New York.

Join us as we honor and celebrate Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, in words and music. Save the date! Reserve your tickets for a wonderful evening in true Scottish style and tradition! 

burns night

In celebration of Burns Night, AboutScotland is trying to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest version of people singing Robert Burns’s most famous poem, ‘Auld Lang Syne‘ – and they’d love your help!

To join us in contributing to their video compilation, visit’s website to hear Whisky Kiss’s recording of the song, get a feel for the tempo, download an audio track of background music, and learn the lyrics. Then, record a video of yourself or friends singing the lyrics with the provided background music and send it in before January 10! Submission instructions can be found on their website above.

We hope you’ll join us in attempting to break this world record and honor Robert Burns in true Scottish style!

Christmas at the Kelpies

Kelpies flyer

The iconic sculptures are featuring a floating pop-up shop at The Horsebox just in time for the holiday festivities.

Based on a barge, the shop showcases a variety of Scottish Canalsproducts, works from local artists and designers, and Christmas gifts of all kinds. Visitors can enjoy mince pies, mulled wine, artisan ice cream, hot chocolate, and other treats from the nearby Horsebox Café as they delight in the holiday scene.

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit one of Scotland’s quintessential sights in a spectacularly festive light!


Christmastide at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo celebrated Christmas early this year when Santa Claus himself flew in and delivered special treats to the animals!

Lucky lemurs and sun bears were treated to some special meats, nuts, and berries in celebration of the holidays – and the photos are absolutely delightful.

“Celebrating holidays with the animals is a fantastic way to think creatively about the enrichment we give to them,” said Jo Elliott, Animal Collections Manager at Edinburgh Zoo, said of Mr. Claus’s visit.

“This interaction is a great environmental enrichment for the lemurs as they really do love the attention. Sun bears may be the smallest species of bear, but their size is definitely deceiving as whenever we put real pine Christmas trees into their enclosure, probably their favourite enrichment device, they wrestle them to the ground. Christmas will literally be coming early for the boys as they’ll be getting two lots of their favourite enrichments.”

The holiday celebrations didn’t stop there. The Zoo’s giant panda and one of its most famous residents, Tian Tian, received a special treat of his own: a special Christmas panda cake!

14 12 17 Tiantian Xmas 2014 JP 1

Baked specially by panda keeper Alison Maclean, the cake is formed into the shape of a Christmas tree and drizzled with honey. The secret recipe, gifted from the Zoo’s Chinese colleagues, and is not only a panda favorite, but is also nutritious. 

Edinburgh Zoo is home to the UK’s only giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, who have been living at the Zoo since 2011 and are part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s ten year giant panda partnership with China. The partnership supports the reintroduction of giant pandas into the wild alongside a host of other education and conservation programs in the UK and China.



Creative Holiday Celebrations from New York to Glasgow

From New York to Glasgow, December is already off to a festive start, with holiday celebrations of all kinds in full swing! From creative spins on traditional carols to charitable events with a Christmas twist, this season will have you smiling no matter the city you’re in.

On Sunday, December 7, Glasgow’s streets were filled with Santas as thousands of runners donned their sneakers and red suits to raise money for charity as part of the Glasgow Santa Dash 2014.

Thousands take part in Santa Dash

Proceeds from the 5k run benefitted the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund, which in turn helped raise money for 17 excellent causes, including the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, CHAS, Shelter and Calum’s Cabin. Over 3,700 runners were in attendance, offering their support for the festive fundraiser.

Across the pond, in celebration of the holiday season, and in an effort to bring back the ‘12 Days of Christmas,’ 11 Pipers Piping (the Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums) surprised New Yorkers with their very own parades in Central Park. Get in the Christmas spirit and enjoy a laugh as you watch their video, “The Great Carol Comeback.”

ASF in Alexandria: The Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk

On Saturday, December 6, the American-Scottish Foundation was preceded by the 84th Regiment of Foot Royal Highland Emigrants at the 44th annual Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend.

Photo: The American-Scottish Foundation were preceded by the 84th Regiment of Foot Royal Highland Emigrants in the Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend on Saturday.</p><br /><br /> <p>Heralding their approach, as we came to a new street, the Regiment took up position and fired their muskets ... the delight of those lining the parade route.  The parade winds through the historic streets of Old Towne Alexandria.</p><br /><br /> <p>A great parade...Alexandria looks so festive at this time of year...</p><br /><br /> <p>What a weekend they put together.. The ASF plans to be there again next year, .

The parade, which winds its way through the historic streets of Old Town Alexandria, was quite a success. As ASF made its way down the city’s charming avenues, the Regiment took position at the front of the parade and ceremonially fired their muskets to the delight of those lining the parade route.

The festival was hosted by The Campagna Center, with proceeds benefitted their six educational programs. Made possible with the help of partnerships with The Scottish GovernmentThe Saint Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C. and the City of Alexandria, the weekend was a roaring success. Besides the parade, it featured a variety of festivities that celebrated the rich Scottish heritage of the area, including Scotch tastings, historic tours, and holiday markets.

What a weekend they put together. The American Scottish Foundation plans to be in attendance again at next year’s festivities!

Below, watch and listen to the Shamrock and Thistle Pipes and Drums at the parade!

#scottishwalk #oldtown #bagpipes @visitalexva

A video posted by Marianna (@iriemana88) on

“The Pipes of Christmas” in NY and NJ


In what has become a firm holiday favorite, The Pipes of Christmas concert series will celebrate its sixteenth season with performances in New York and New Jersey this December.

  • Concert to Mark the Christmas Truce of 1914
  • New Musical Works to Have Their World Premiere
  • Proceeds Support Scholarships and More
  • Named one of New York City’s “Top Ten” holiday events

The concert presents the music of Christmas accompanied by readings taken from the Celtic literature of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Featured performers include James Robinson from the film “Braveheart,” New England fiddle champion Paul Woodiel, “Riverdance” uilleann piper and flutist Christopher Layer, Gaelic Mod champion harpist Jennifer Port of Golspie, Scotland, and the Pipe Major Kevin Ray Blandford Memorial Pipe Band from Redlands, CA.

Saturday, December 20 at 2:00 & 7:00 PM Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 921 Madison Avenue, (between 73rd & 74th Streets) New York City 


Additional performance in Summit, New Jersey (2 block from NJ Transit rail station) on Sunday, Dec. 21 – advance sale/mail order only.


Ring in the Holiday Season at Jones Wood Foundry’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

On Wednesday, December 3 at 7pm,  join ASF members and friends and ring in the holiday season at the Jones Wood Foundry’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at 401 East 76th Street, New York.

Celebrate the holidays with a festive ceremony, and afterwards enjoy mulled wine and hors d’oeuvre with excellent company!

In past years, the event has been profiled by the New York Times and CBS New York. Don’t miss out on this lovely holiday opportunity!

For more information, visit our event page on Facebook. We hope to see you there!