Monthly Archives: March 2015

Lineup Released for Bryant Park Lunchtime Concerts

As part of a Tartan Week special, the ASF is proud to present a series of Lunchtime Concerts from April 6-12. Taking place in one of our absolute favorite settings, The Fountain Terrace at Bryant Park, the concerts are sure to be a musical retreat in your day.


April 6, 2015 12.30pm-1.30 pm – Tartan Day Observance

“Tartan Day” recognizes the contributions of Scottish Americans with performances by The Highland Divas and Patrick Duffy, piper, as well as readings from The Declaration of Arbroath and Tartan Day proclamations.

April 7, 2015 12.30 pm-1:30 pm

Performances by Scottish Octopus (Celtic/World/Folk Bagpipes) and Hannah Read & John Gribbin, modern folk songwriters.

April 8, 2015 12.30-1.30pm

Performances by Lanark & District Pipe Band, Scotland, and Craig Weir, VIP Piper and winner of the Young Scot Award for Arts in 2014, as well as Mike Ogletree Anacoustic Mind, inspired by Robert Burns, with a blend of reggae and rock.

April 10, 2015 12.30-1.30pm

Performances by Scottish Octopus and Jenna Moynihan & Friends, acclaimed fiddler with unique style rooted in Scottish tradition and Appalachian influences.

6.00-7.00pm – Pipes and Drums at Sunset

April 11, 2015 – Pipes and Drums before the Parade

11:30 Lanark & District Pipe Band, Scotland

11.50 Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch

12:10 TBA

12:30 Bonnie Brae Knights

12:40 Shamrock & Thistle Pipes & Drums of Ocean County

April 12, 2015 12.30-1.30pm 

Performances by Oban High School Pipes & Drums, Scotland; Shot of Scotch Highland Dancers, and The Tailor of Inverness – An interlude with Matthew Zajec and Aden O’Rourke (opening at 59E59 Theaters April 14th).

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A few previews of our musical features for our Bryant Park concerts: Scottish Octopus, Hannah Read, Lanark and District Pipe Band, and The Highland Divas.

For further information on these lunchtime concerts, please visit our website or contact:
phone: 212 605 0338 email:


10 of the Best Big Apple Bars for Tartan Week

Celebrating Tartan Week in New York City this year? We hope you’ll enjoy some of the wonderful offerings of Scottish food and beverage the city has to offer, whether it’s stopping for a post-parade pint of Bellhaven or enjoying a meal at a gastropub.

ScotlandNow has put together a lovely list of their favorite places to get a drink in NYC that include several of ASF’s favorites – though if we’re naming names, we’d have to mention our highlight haunts The Craic – Irish/Scottish Pub and Biddy’s Pub to the selections! Take a look at a few of their selections and start planning the culinary side of your New York Tartan Week adventures.

The Shakespeare, 24 East 39th Street


The Shakespeare (Image courtesy of ScotlandNow)

For wonderful atmosphere, service, and the perfect pint and chips, look no further than The Shakespeare.

Caledonia, 1609 Second Avenue 


Caledonia (Image courtesy of ScotlandNow)

On Tuesday, April 7, Bellhaven Head Brewer George Howell will be hosting a Tap Takeover at Caledonia, but if you can’t make it then, stop by any time for a pint of Bellhaven on tap, or one of their over 180 varieties of Scotch!

Iona Brooklyn, 180 Grand Street (Williamsburg)


Iona (Image courtesy of ScotlandNow)

If you’re in the mood for music with your drink, Iona hosts Scottish Session gigs every Monday at 8:30 pm. Their urban beer garden is a wonderful location to kick back after a long day of sightseeing.

Jones Wood Foundry, 401 East 76th Street

Jones Wood Foundry (image courtesy of ScotlandNow)

Jones Wood Foundry (image courtesy of ScotlandNow)

A wonderful place not only to grab a drink but a full meal, Jones Wood Foundry is one of ASF’s favorite gastropubs: friendly and attentive service and wonderful cuisine.

Take a look at the full list, with photos, and read the article on ScotlandNow’s website.


Alexander Robertson School Students Gearing Up For Tartan Day Parade

The students and staff at New York’s Alexander Robertson School are getting very excited about their participation in the 2015 Tartan Day Parade. Having marched for the first time last year, the members of this 225-year-old school community know how much fun Tartan Day is –– and to add to the general festivities, they are learning some Scottish Country Dances to perform along the Parade route. Watch for them “Stripping the Willow” and dancing a reel accompanied by their violin teacher, Kristina Giles, who, while classically trained, plays a mean fiddle!


Leading the Pre-K through 5th grade students along the route will be internationally renowned Bagpiper and World Peace Tartan Ambassador, Craig Weir. Craig (20), who is attending Tartan Week to promote the World Peace Tartan’s message of global cooperation and understanding, will be meeting with the Alexander Robertson School children to discuss this important initiative. 

The school was founded by the largely Scottish congregation of the Second Presbyterian Church in 1789 to educate the children of “farmers and common folk” to become engaged citizens in the new republic, its message of empowerment through education and the World Peace Tartan initiative’s aim to promote global peace and combat child poverty dovetail together beautifully. The youthful exuberance that will be displayed as these two profound messages of hope combine will lift the hearts of all who see it.

Irwin Shlachter, the Head of the Alexander Robertson School says: “Meeting Craig and participating in the Tartan Day parade will help our students understand that there are many issues in the world that they can help with. It empowers them to realize that they can create better cultural understanding for themselves and for future generations.  We are a school where the children study locally but learn globally.”

The Alexander Robertson School is a co-educational, Pre-K through 5th Grade community of thoughtful learners located on West 95th Street just steps from New York’s Central Park. It welcomes families of every configuration, ethnicity and religious tradition.


The Highland Divas at the Metropolitan Room

The Highland Divas, a musical trio hailing from Scotland and New Zealand, will be performing in New York City at the Metropolitan Room on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 9:30 pm.

The Highland Divas

The Highland Divas

The group, comprised of band members Margaret Kelly, Georgia Johnson and Marla Kavanaugh, performs a variety of styles of Celtic-inspired music, from slow, haunting ballads to multi-layered harmonies of popular and classical songs.

To listen to some of their music, watch this video of the group performing “My Love is Like a Red Red Rose,” written by Robert Burns:

To purchase tickets for the event, visit the Metropolitan Room’s website here or call 212-206-0440.


Glasgow Suffragette March for International Women’s Day

On May 7, 2015, the day before International Women’s Day, the March of Women took place in Glasgow. As part of the filmed public art event, women dressed up as suffragettes to celebrate “the achievements of Scottish women past and present.”

Photo credit: Steve Welsh

Photo credit: Steve Welsh

The celebrations began in the Glasgow Women’s Library with a performance of the play Suffragette by Cicely Hamilton, an English writer, actress, and suffragette herself. A procession then took to the the streets of Bridgeton before finishing at Glasgow Green.


Photo credit: Steve Welsh


A page from “Beware! A Warning to Suffragists” – a pamphlet by Cicely Hamilton. Source: Working Class Movement Library

Photo credit: Steve Welsh

Photo credit: Steve Welsh

Read the full article and see more of the stunning photos of the day at The Herald Scotland.


Spotlight on Style, from Edinburgh to Brooklyn

With the warmer spring weather comes a change in wardrobe, and with it a multitude of fashion events from Scotland to New York.

This week marks the first ever Edinburgh Fashion Week, and there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Scotland’s capital city. Visitors can take advantage of the multitude of special offers, discounts, and sales taking place throughout the week at stores including Gap, Godiva, Vans, Hawes and Curtis, Austin Reed, Tommy Hilfiger, Walker Slater, Moss Bros, and more. Many stores and venues are also hosting special events – fashion shows, prize draws, sessions with a personal stylist, and prize giveaways.

To learn more about this week’s opportunities, visit the Edinburgh Fashion Week home page.

Spring also brings Scottish style to New York. In less than four weeks, just in time for the 17th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade, Scot Street Style will make their New York City debut. On April 10 at 8pm, they will host a “gathering of creatives” at Kinfolk 90 in association with Location Scotland and Walker Slater, before joining the Tartan Day Parade the next day.


For more information, visit the company’s Facebook page.


Barbour Hosting Westies & Scotties in the New York Tartan Day Parade

This year, Barbour, the iconic British clothing brand, will sponsor one of the most well-loved units of the New York Tartan Day Parade: the Scottie and Westie Tartan Dog Pack.

32bfe2ec-0358-46bf-8234-18633183baecThe Barbour Westie in his Barbour dog coat

Thousands of marchers are expected to take part in the parade, and over one hundred of them will be well dressed Scottie and West Highland White Terriers, who will sport trademark Barbour tartan coats as they march up Sixth Avenue with their owners.

Tom Hooven, General Manager of Barbour Inc. said:

“The Tartan Day Parade gives us a great opportunity to creatively showcase our association with tartan and we look forward to taking part in the Parade with the Scotties and Westies.

“Barbour’s heritage is in the British countryside and throughout our history, we have had a long association with dogs both in providing clothing for their owners and providing dog coats and accessories for all shapes and sizes for our faithful friends.”

If you are in New York and would like your dog to star as part of the Tartan Pack in the Parade, send a photo of your dog to by March 25th – and your Scottie or Westie may be chosen to receive a Barbour dog coat to wear in the parade.

Read more (and view a photo gallery of dogs at the Tartan Day Parade!) at



First Ever Mary, Queen of Scots Statue

Over 400 years after her death, for the first time later this spring, a Mary, Queen of Scots monument is to be erected in Scotland, reports BBC News.

Crafting the statue in the Powderhall foundry in Edinburgh, the sculptor, David Annand, commented that bronze monument, will stand taller than the queen herself did, measuring about 7 feet tall.

The Marie Stuart Society began a campaign to create a statue two years ago. President of the Society Margaret Lumsdaine said: “I think it was a gross mistake for generations not to have recognised her. She was our last sovereign queen.”

Once the statue is completed and unveiled, it will find a home at Linlithgow Palace, where Mary was born in 1542.

Dr. David Mitchell,  Historic Scotland’s director of conservation, said of this choice of location:

“What’s particularly interesting about this proposition – and we considered it very carefully- is it’s a very traditional statue and we insisted that it was undertaken using traditional construction techniques. Our apprentices have been involved. But it’s also been cast in the same way that statues have been cast for literally thousands of years.”

_81244938_mary_queen_scots_bustImage courtesy of BBC News



Grand Marshals Announced for the 17th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade!

The 17th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade will be led by Graham McTavish, celebrated Scottish actor and star of Starz Original Series “Outlander” alongside Rt. Hon Tricia Marwick, MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Government.  

Mr. McTavish said: “It is a singular honor to follow in the footsteps of previous Grand Marshals. I hope I can live up to the illustrious tradition established by my predecessors and bring pride to my family, clan and nation,” Graham McTavish responded when accepting the role.

The Presiding Officer said: “Having taken part in previous Tartan Day parades and experienced at first-hand the color, enthusiasm and buzz of the marchers and spectators, I am pleased and excited to represent the Scottish Parliament at the head of the Tartan Day Parade.  New York’s Tartan Week celebrations highlight the unique relationship between Scotland and North America.”


Graham McTavish, Grand Marshal of the 17th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade


The Rt Hon, Tricia Marwick, MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament has been appointed Honorary Grand Marshal of the upcoming New York Tartan Day Parade

To register to march in the parade on Saturday, April 11, 2015, visit ASF’s homepage here.