Presiding Officer to lead Tartan Day 2007 Parade in New York

30/03/2007

The Presiding Officer the Rt Hon George Reid MSP today departs Scotland for this year’s Tartan Week activities.

During Tartan Week, the Presiding Officer will promote Scotland in North America, and forge new links through sharing Scottish parliamentary practice with State legislatures. The programme also includes meetings with the Assemblée Nationale in Québec, Canada.

On April 14, he will head up the 2007 New York City National Tartan Day Parade as Grand Marshal. He will lead the anticipated 2,000 marchers up 6th Avenue.

The three-hour parade will be the culmination of a fortnight of meetings and activities undertaken by the Presiding Officer on behalf of the Scottish Parliament in acknowledgement of Tartan Week.

Presiding Officer George Reid MSP said:

"Our programme of activities has a strong cultural theme this year. Scots have played an influential role in the development of society in North America – something the Scots in Québec exhibition currently at Holyrood illustrates all too well.

"The role of Grand Marshal for the parade is one I am pleased to accept. To experience the streets of New York lined with people from across North America who are so proud of their Scottish heritage will no doubt once again be an emotional experience.”

The Parade begins at 45th Street and concludes at 58th Street on 6th Avenue, New York.

Previous Grand Marshals include Randall Wallace, author of the screenplay “Braveheart” and Brigadier Melville S. Jameson CBE DL for his services to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Programme highlights include:

Saturday 31 March - New York

10am: Presiding Officer opens the Scottish Village, Grand Central Station

After its debut in 2005, the Scottish Village returns to Grand Central Terminal for Tartan Week 2007 – offering the opportunity to experience numerous aspects of Scotland's vibrant contemporary culture and bold heritage.

Entry to the Scottish Village is free, and it is open to the public from 11am to 7pm, March 31 - April 8. Last year approximately 250,000 individuals visited over the course of the week.

Photographs will be made available through VisitScotland.

Contact Donna Black, Press Manager; Tel: 0131 472 2219.

8pm: “Did you Used to be RD Laing?”, American Theatre of Actors, 314, West 54 th Street

This show celebrates the life and work of R.D.Laing and is presented by Mike Maran, with a jazz score based on the music of Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and Chopin arranged by virtuoso pianist, David Milligan. It opens a door for New Yorkers into the Scottish psyche.

Sunday 1 April - New York

10am: Presiding Officer opens the Scotland Run, Central Park and presents prizes to the winners

Now in its fourth year, the Run sees more than 6,000 runners take part in this 10k run through Central Park organised by New York Road Runners Club and sponsored by the Scottish Executive.

(Prior to this, at 9.40am the Presiding Officer will be pictured with one of the favourites to win the men’s race, Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University student, Alastair Hay.)

Photographs will be made available from the Scottish Executive. Contact David Hamilton on 0131 244 2056 or David.Hamilton@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Monday 2 April – New York

8pm: Dressed to Kilt, organised by Friends of Scotland (US)

Hosted by Sir Sean and Lady Connery, the evening includes a fashion show to celebrate Highland 2007 as "Scotland 's Year of Highland Culture". This year the show will also highlight and celebrate the significant relationships that exist between the Italian and Scottish textiles and design industries.

For information and photographs, please contact the event organisers.

Wednesday 4 April – New York

12noon: Presiding Officer to attend and address a lunch at the British Memorial Garden, Hanover Square.

The garden is a gift to the City and the people of New York celebrating the unity and friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom, while also honouring the 67 British victims of the World Trade Center attacks.

In the Park, there will be a free public concert of Scottish music featuring Scottish and American Pipes and Drums bands and Scottish violinist Laura McGhee. The concert will celebrate the Scottish elements within the British Memorial Garden, which is currently nearing completion at adjacent Hanover Square .

Photographs will be made available from the Scottish Parliament. Contact 0131 348 6269; Email: photography@scottish.parliament.uk

6pm: We-entrepreneurs dinner, Soho House, 29-35 Ninth Avenue

The Presiding Officer will attend a dinner for key American-Scottish businesses. The event will highlight the potential for cross-links between the entrepreneur communities in the US and Scotland . The evening’s guest speaker will be Richard Tait, inventor of the board game ‘Cranium’ who will give a presentation on ‘Innovation’.

Tuesday 10 April to - Thursday 12 April - Québec

Meetings and cultural events with academics, speaker and members of the Assemblée Nationale.

Saturday 14 April - New York

10am: Kirkin O’ the Tartan, Central Presbyterian Church.

2pm 9th Annual NYC Tartan Day Parade (Organised by New York National Tartan Day Committee), 6th Avenue, New York

The Presiding Officer will be the Grand Marshal for the Parade. Activities will take place throughout the day.

Photographs will be made available from the Scottish Parliament. Contact Andrew Cowan on 0131 348 6269; Email: photography@scottish.parliament.uk

Background

Tartan Week is a celebration of all things Scottish which takes place the first week of April each year in New York City and across the USA . This is the 9th Tartan Week showcasing all aspects of Scottish culture and promoting Scotland as a place to live, study, work, visit, do business and invest.

The anticipated cost for the Scottish Parliament's participation in Tartan Week, will be £16,000.

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