The Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP will lead this year’s Tartan Day Parade as part of the Scottish Parliament’s Scotland Week programme in America.
The visit by the Presiding Officer and a cross-party Holyrood delegation will culminate with the Presiding Officer leading an estimated 2,000 marchers along 6th Avenue, as Grand Marshal of the famous New York parade.
The Presiding Officer will travel to New York, Boston, Concord, Manchester and Washington DC, taking time while in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire to visit their State Parliaments and address two local universities about the Scottish Parliament.
Other highlights of the Presiding Officer's programme include starting the Scotland Run in Central Park and delivering an address to delegates from across the USA at the opening General Session of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington DC.
During their time in the US, the cross-party delegation of MSPs, Jamie McGrigor, Pauline McNeill and Gil Paterson, will focus on three key areas – climate change, sustainable transport and opportunities around the green economy – selected themes that link directly to the current work of the Parliament and its committees.
They will meet key individuals, agencies and campaigners in these areas when in New York, Boston and Washington DC and report back their findings to help further inform the Parliament's future scrutiny and understanding in these areas.
Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said: “The annual Scotland Week celebrations have grown out of the 1998 Tartan Day resolution which tells the story of the unique bond between Scotland and America.
“This year’s programme reflects the history of that bond, and will celebrate our rich, shared heritage but it will also look to the future and explore our environmental and economic links around the green agenda with the United States.”
On being invited to bring Scotland Week to a close by leading the annual Tartan Day parade down 6th Avenue, Mr Fergusson added: “I am especially delighted to accept the role of Grand Marshal for this year’s Tartan Day Parade in New York. As Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, it will be a genuine honour to lead the parade in celebration of all things Scottish.”
Scotland Week runs from Saturday 3 - Saturday 10 April.
Since 1998, Tartan Day has been recognised by the US House of Representatives as an official celebration of the contribution of American-Scots to US culture and life. Over the past 10 years Scotland-focused activity around Tartan Day has grown into a week-long programme to promote Scotland in North America and is now called Scotland Week.
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