The Scottish award winning comedian, Sir Billy Connolly, 76, has been named as this year’s Grand Marshal for the Tartan Day Parade in New York.
The festival itself commemorates the exceptional bond between Scotland and America and the way in which Scots have influenced the USA since it was first discovered. In 1998, the U.S. Senate announced that April would be National Tartan Day to celebrate this relationship.
The Big Yin is set to lead this year’s march with the help of 1,500 contributors all the way through Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue, from 45th Street to 55th Street. The event will be filled with everything Scottish you can possibly think of, ranging from music by pipe bands and drummers, to traditional Scottish dancers and even wee Scottie dogs. The days before and after the event are called ‘Tartan Week’ and are filled with a whole variety of Scottish-themed events.
Kyle Dawson, President of the New York Tartan Day Committee said: ‘’We’re delighted to announce that Billy Connolly will join us as Grand Marshal of this year’s New York Tartan Day Parade this April. For over half a century, he has entertained us all though his work and, because of this, he is beloved on both sides of the pond. We look forward to enjoying a big year with the Big Yin.’’
Billy Connolly said: ‘’I can’t wait to hear all those bagpipes echoing off the skyscrapers and to see Sixth Avenue awash with thousands of swaying kilts. It’s going to be brilliant.’’
In previous years, the title of Grand Marshal had gone to celebrated Scots such as Sir Sean Connery or and Outlander star, Sam Heughan.
The NYC Tartan Day Parade is set to take place on Saturday the 6th of April this year, the same day as National Tartan Day in the US. The Parade tends to attract over 30,000 people every year.
By Caylin O’Brien