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March 23, 2010 – New Exhibition and Top Talent Slated for NY Tartan Week Opener

New Exhibition and Top Talent Slated for NY Tartan Week Opener

Tartan Week on Ellis Island Returns for Ninth Annual Celebration April 2-4, 2010

“Tartan Day on Ellis Island” returns for its ninth annual celebration with a three-day celebration of Scottish heritage commencing on Friday, April 2. The event is produced by the Clan Currie Society – one of the country’s leading Scottish heritage organizations. The Ellis Island event will open NY Tartan Week – a nine-day festival of all things Scottish, including Sir Sean Connery’s Dressed to Kilt Fashion show, Whisky Live and the Tartan Day Parade.

Scotland’s Gifts

From Harry Lauder to Harry Potter – from Long John Silver to Auld Lang Syne, “Scotland’s Gifts” explores the vast contributions of the Scots. Using the headings of Imagination, Innovation, and Inspiration, the exhibition encourages the visitor to imagine a world without television or telephones, basketball or bagpipes, Harry Potter or Sherlock Holmes. All – and many, many more – are gifts of the Scots.


Take a deeper look. Golf is gone, so is whisky. The U.S. Navy never gets launched and there’s no Auld Lang Syne to sing on New Year’s Eve. The world would be a completely different – and some would argue – less creative, comfortable and compassionate place were it not for Scotland’s Gifts.

The exhibition will be displayed in the Peopling of America gallery on the museum’s first floor. Tartan Day on Ellis Island is produced by Robert Currie. Marsha Lebby serves as senior researcher and writer for “Scotland’s Gift.”

The Pipes will Play

In addition to the new exhibition, on Saturday, April 3 Ellis Island will play host to a broad range of outstanding performers who will present Scotland’s “portable culture” – the music, dance, and folklore that were brought to this country by Scottish immigrants.

The growing roster of Ellis Island performers includes, Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion Calum Pasqua, renowned “Riverdance” piper Christopher Layer, the New York Celtic Dancers, John Grimaldi the Kilted Juggler and the Rampant Lion Pipe Band among others.

On Sunday, April 4 Celtic Harpist Mia Theodoratus will join Christopher Layer in the exhibition area while Pipe Major David Palladino will pipe for Tartan Day guests as they arrive on Ellis Island.

Pipe Major David Palladino of the Rampant Lion Pipe Band.





America’s Golden Door

Ellis Island is a fitting place to observe Tartan Day. The island and its historic buildings represent America’s “Golden Door.” From 1892 to 1954, more than 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island. Although many Scots arrived during the colonial period of our history – helping to build the new nation – an additional half-million Scots came through Ellis Island. It has been estimated that 40% of Americans today can trace at least one ancestor’s entry into the United States through Ellis Island.

Celtic Harpist Mia Theodoratus will perform at Tartan Day on Ellis Island.

The Tartan Day event runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. There is no admission charge to the Tartan Day events or the immigration museum. Passenger ferries run from Battery Park in New York City and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. For complete ferry schedules to Ellis Island, visit: www.statuecruises.com.

For additional information about the Ellis Island Tartan Day observance and Tartan Week, phone (908) 803-4043 or visit www.tartandayonellisisland.com.

About Tartan Day on Ellis Island

Tartan Day on Ellis Island is one of the principal Scottish heritage events in the United States. The program is produced annually by the Clan Currie Society – one of the largest clan societies in the world – formed in 1959 to preserve and promote Scottish heritage and culture.

Describing the Tartan Week program, noted Scottish journalist and author Roddy Martine reported that of all the Tartan Day events held in the United States, the Ellis Island observance has, “stood out as a beacon of what USA Tartan Day is all about: the emigrant ancestors of ordinary Americans who over three centuries crossed the Atlantic Ocean to create the world’s greatest democracy.”

Tartan Day on Ellis Island is produced by the Clan Currie Society.

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