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April 12, 2013 – Over 6 Thousand Attend NY Tartan Week Opener

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April 12, 2013

Annual Clan Currie Celebration Opens New York Tartan Week 2013

New York, NY – The 12th annual “Tartan Day on Ellis Island” was rerouted this year to South Street Seaport, as the island is still closed to the public because of Hurricane Sandy. But the crowds that gathered at Pier 17 on March 30 were still in Highland spirits as they were entertained by pipers, jugglers, traditional dancers and more. Just under 6,000 visitors attended the family-friendly program produced by the Clan Currie Society with performances by the Rampant Lion Pipe Band, the New York Celtic Dancers and the 2007 Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion, Calum Pasqua.

The 2013 event marked Clan Currie's 12th anniversary of celebrating Tartan Day. Photo by Milo Hess.“Tartan Day at the South Street Seaport” opened New York Tartan Week – a two-week festival of all things Scottish, including a Scottish fashion show, whisky tastings, concerts, film screenings and the like.

For Society president and Tartan Day producer Robert Currie, the move to the South Street Seaport was fortuitous. “We were absolutely delighted to bring our Tartan Week program to the beautiful South Street Seaport. Like Ellis Island, the Seaport also sustained damage during Superstorm Sandy but has been fortunate to remain open. We’re delighted to help draw the public back to this Lower Manhattan historic gem.”

The Tartan Day event served as an important reminder that the Seaport – home to a whole host of shops and restaurants as well as the South Street Seaport Museum – is open for business.

The shift from Ellis to Manhattan Island was fitting since Manhattan was the major landing area for ships coming from Europe and carrying Scots to America, where they would have to be processed at Ellis Island. Currie pointed out that event was held not more than 100 yards from where 11-year old John Muir first set foot on American soil in 1849 after departing from Scotland with his family. Muir was, of course, the famous naturalist who founded the Sierra Club and whose activities helped preserved what would become Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. (The Clan Currie Society had previously showcased The Life and Legacy of John Muir with their Ellis Island Tartan Day program in 2005.)

NYC Council Member Margaret Chin with Robert Currie. Photo by Milo Hess.“I want to thank the Clan Currie Society for holding this year’s Tartan Day festival in the South Street Seaport,” New York City Council Member Margaret Chin said at the festival’s opening ceremonies. “After hurricane Sandy, the Seaport is in desperate need of the support, and I know this festival will help bring much needed pedestrian traffic to the area. I look forward to participating in this year’s festival and in celebrating all that Scottish culture has to offer.”

“We’re glad that our program can help drive visitors to the Seaport,” said Currie. It’s just one of many ways the Clan Currie Society has taken action to provide support in response to Hurricane Sandy.”

In addition to the Seaport performances, area establishments participated by hosting a Scottish pub crawl, offering drink and meal specials to guests appearing in kilts and tartan. Area watering holes included Pacific Grill, Margarita Bar, the Growler and Ulysses.

Reporting on the event, John Beatty in “Scotia News” commented, “The crowd was wildly enthusiastic and applauded each act with great exhilaration. The turnout included many kilts and representatives from the St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York, the NY Caledonian Club, From Scotland With Love, and the Saltire Society of New York. At day’s end, the official attendance for the day was estimated at 5750. The Seaport staff reported that the Tartan Day program attracted the largest turnout since Hurricane Sandy hit last October 29.”

The turnout included many kilted visitors. Photo by Milo Hess.Support for Tartan Day at the Seaport was been generously provided by NY Water Taxi and the National Trust for Scotland Foundation – USA.

The Clan Currie Society is a founding member of the New York Tartan Week Alliance, the official body coordinating many of the anchor events of NY Tartan Week including, the “From Scotland with Love” fashion show and charity fundraiser, the popular “Whisky Live” scotch tasting evening, and the “Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures” dinner hosted by the National Trust for Scotland Foundation – USA.

Upcoming events on Clan Currie’s calendar include their 3 Annual MacMhuirich Symposium and Clan Gathering in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and their 15 annual “Pipes of Christmas” concerts to be held in New York and New Jersey on December 14 and 15. For further information, visit www.clancurriegathering.com.

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