Canadian and US Tartan Day events were spectacular – Angus Robertson MSP

It was an enormous privilege to visit Canada and the United States to strengthen Scotland’s ties with its close friends, and to attend the numerous Tartan Day Celebrations in both nations.

Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 12:30 pm
Angus Robertson with New York's Tartan Day parade Grand Marshal Karen Gillan
Angus Robertson with New York's Tartan Day parade Grand Marshal Karen Gillan

Tartan Day – a nationally recognised celebration in the US and Canada – marks the close familial, cultural and historical ties between Scotland and both countries. Originating in Canada in the 1980s, it takes place on the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath on April 6, 1320.

This year saw spectacular celebrations. One of the world’s most recognisable natural wonders – Niagara Falls – was lit up in the colours of the Scottish saltire. It was a sight I shall never forget.

Equally impressive is taking part in the annual Tartan Day parade in New York. Thousands of people march down 6th Avenue in Scottish regalia, while thousands more cheered on from the sidewalks.

Tartan Day and the accompanying Tartan Week of activities provides a great opportunity to showcase investment and trade opportunities, highlight educational and cultural cooperation and boost the tourism sector.

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Karen Gillan brings Scottish star power to New York Tartan Day Parade

None of this would be possible without a small army of volunteers in the United States and Canada who organise events to mark Tartan Day.

With the support of the Scottish Government offices in Ottawa and Washington DC, Scottish Development International staff across the continent, and Visit Scotland, a huge effort has gone into making Tartan Day a big success.

Next year will be the the official 25th anniversary Tartan Day in the US. The planning has already started.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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