Celebrate all things Scottish, including culture, food and drink, during 12th Annual Scotland Week in NYC. It’s the gathering of the clan, with FREE performances, parades, art exhibits and more, through the big annual Tartan Day Parade on Fifth Avenue on Saturday, April 11.
This year’s events lunchtime concerts in Bryant Park, and an art exhibit of famous Scots including Broadway, TV and film star Alan Cumming.
Celebrate your inner Scot at these events:
Monday, April 6 – Sunday, April 12
Lunchtime Concerts in Bryant Park (FREE) – A daily schedule of Scottish pipers, singers and poetry readings on Bryant Park’s Fountain Terrace during Scotland Week. Highlights include the Highland Divas on Tartan Day, April 6; Craig Weir, a VIP piper who was awarded the Young Scot Award for Arts in 2104, on April 9; Hannah Read and John Gribbin, modern folk songwriters and instrumentalists; and many pipe bands and Highland dancers.
Fountain Terrace at Bryant Park is at the park entrance at 41st Street and 6th Avenue. Times vary daily between 11:30-1:00pm; check website for daily schedule
Wednesday, April 8
The Highland Divas – Georgia, Margaret and Marla are two Scots and a Kiwi; three women from different parts of the world, with diverse musical backgrounds and a common heritage. Travel with them on a musical journey that spans the folk music of Ireland, Scotland, and New Zealand, and culminates in the soaring heights of Rock Opera. It is a journey from the most achingly spare Celtic ballads to the most thrilling, harmonized interpretations of popular and classical music.
This is a ticketed event at 6:15pm at The Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street. Tickets start at $20.
Wednesday, April 8 – Wednesday, April 15
“A Brush with Inspiration” (Donation requested) – This stunning exhibition celebrates the very best in Scottish talent by contemporary artist Gerard M Burns, one of Scotland’s most respected artists. The exhibition builds on the success of his ‘14 for 14’ which was held in New York last year. Celebrity portraits in the exhibition include Scottish actors Alan Cumming, Ewan McGregor, Billy Connolly and Laura Fraser. Sales or donations from the exhibition will go to The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice fundraising for a new site in Bellahouston, Glasgow.
GCU New York gallery is at 64 Wooster Street. Hours are noon-5pm daily.
Friday, April 10 – Sunday, April 12
Tartan Day on Ellis Island (FREE) – Since its debut in 2002, Tartan Day on Ellis Island has become one of the most important and popular Scottish heritage events in the USA. This year it features a new exhibition on Captain William Kidd, a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Plus, as always, there are music and dance performances, including the Rampant Lion Pipe Band, kilt maker Bonnie Greene, John the Kilted Juggler and maybe a few pirates, too. Tartan Day on Ellis Island is sponsored by the Clan Currie Society.
It’s all happening at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The first ferry leaves lower Manhattan at 8am and the last one leaves Ellis Island at 6:45pm. Additional information on Tartan Day on Ellis Island on this dedicated website.
Saturday, April 11
Kirkin O’ the Tartan and Pre-Parade Brunch – This is a traditional, non-denominational church service sponsored by the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York. The service is followed by a pre-parade traditional Scottish brunch, 10am to noon. Tickets are $25-$35; children under 10 are half-price and children under 5 are free. Reservations required. The Brick Presbyterian Church is at 62 East Ninety-Second Street
2015 Tartan Day Parade – The 17th annual Tartan Day Parade is a highlight of the Scotland Week festivities. Led by Grand Marshal, Outlander’s Graham McTavish, the parade will bring together pipers and drummers from all over the world in a celebration of the contribution made to the USA by the Scots.
Parade begins on 6th Avenue at West 45th Street and proceeds up 6th Avenue to 55th Street beginning at 2pm.
Those wishing to march must pre-register with the American Scottish Foundation
Tuesday, April 14 – Sunday, May 3
The Tailor of Inverness – Part of the 2015 “Brits of Broadway” season, this internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning play is a story of a son’s search for his father, a story of 20th century Europe, of how a boy who grew up on a farm in Galicia (Eastern Poland, now Western Ukraine), came to be a tailor in northern Scotland. A story of deception, identity and survival, The Tailor of Inverness has moved thousands across the world. This remarkable true story, lovingly recounted by his son, the acclaimed actor Matthew Zajac, and directed by Grid Iron’s Ben Harrison, is “a resonant meditation on what can become of families when countries shift beneath their feet.” (The Guardian). Tickets are $25.
Thursday, June 4 – Saturday, June 27
In My Father’s Words – Also part of the “Brits of Broadway” season, In My Father’s Woods is a beautiful play about identity – national and personal – and language, and the utter indivisibility between the two. In an old wooden house by the shore of Lake Ontario in Canada, Louis battles with his elderly father, Don, whose decline into dementia is gradually robbing him of the ability to speak. Into their lives comes Flora, the caregiver that Louis employs to look after Don. Flora, who is of Scottish heritage, understands that the ‘nonsense’ that Don speaks is fragmented Gaelic, opening up an ocean of revelations and buried family history spanning the Atlantic. Tickets are $25.
- Full details of the Scotland Week program can be found at scotland.org/scotlandweek