An Introduction to Tartan Week
Tartan Week is an annual event celebrating Scottish heritage and the longstanding ties between Scotland and North America. It's a time for the Scottish diaspora and friends of Scotland to come together, don their finest tartan, and enjoy a plethora of Scottish-themed events. Starting in 1998, Tartan Week 2023 marked the 25th anniversary of this vibrant and culturally rich festival.
This year, we were thrilled to participate in Tartan Week as part of a trade mission with Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce. We were selected to represent Scotland alongside a prestigious line-up of businesses, showcasing the country's rich entrepreneurial spirit.
Grand Marshal and Distinguished Guests
Every Tartan Week features a Grand Marshal, a person of note chosen for their significant contributions to Scottish culture. In 2023, we were privileged to celebrate with Gail Porter, a renowned actor, TV personality, and model. Fantastic Scots that have featured as Grand Marshal include Karen Gillan, Sir Billy Connolly, Graham McTavish, Sam Heughan, and Sir Sean Connery, to name a few..
The Scottish Government representative, Angus Robertson, was a constant presence at the events, highlighting the passionate links between the Scottish and North American cultures.
Celebrating Scottish Heritage: Events Overview
Our team attended a plethora of events, each offering unique experiences and opportunities. From the Ceilidh and the American Scottish Foundation Supper Club to the Scottish Business Network Cocktail Party and the Meet the Maker Event, we engaged in lively cultural exchange and business networking.
Kick-starting Tartan Week: The Cocktail Party
The Scottish Business Network Cocktail Party marked the start of our Tartan Week adventure. With delicious oysters and refreshing Isle of Harris Gin, it was a spectacular event that fostered connections between Scotland, the US, and Canada. We are grateful to Lorraine Bell and Fraser Grier for organizing this wonderful evening.
Mixing Business with Pleasure: Brunch and Meetings
Our Tartan Week was also packed with important meetings and social events. We enjoyed a fantastic brunch hosted by VisitScotland Diaspora and had the pleasure of meeting Hilary Creighton, founder of Scottish Creations, whose enthusiasm for Scotland is truly inspiring. The big ceilidh overlooking the Statue of Liberty, hosted by the NY Caledonian Club, was a grand celebration attended by over 450 people from all around the globe.
A Toast to Scottish-American Friendship: The Supper Club
At the American Scottish Foundation's Supper Club, we had the honour of meeting Angus Robertson, the Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs and Culture. The evening was filled with fantastic food and entertainment courtesy of the Edinburgh Fringe, offering a little slice of Scotland in the heart of New York.
Marching Down Sixth Avenue: The Parade
One of the most memorable experiences was marching down 6th Avenue in the New York Tartan Day Parade. Together with the Forth Valley Chamber Delegation, we celebrated international trade and the Scottish heritage with a fantastic parade featuring Highland Dancers, pipe bands, and Scottish Terriers.
We are incredibly grateful to the Forth Valley Chamber for their role in building transatlantic relationships and can't wait to do it all again next year!