Come along with me as I march in the NYC Tartan Week Parade 2023. I marched in the with 90+ other Bay City Rollers fans. This was another part of the different activities sponsored by BCR Fan Events.
The night before the parade, I added pins to my distressed denim jacket. The wool rosettes on the left represent my Scottish clans: Wallace, Leslie, and Cameron.
The Bay City Rollers are represented on the right side, with a few other pins thrown in for good measure.
All dressed up and ready to go. I suppose I’m not looking very enthusiastic, but oh well. On the inside I was ready!!
In full regalia. Thanks to Doris for this fantastic photo.
Waiting For The Parade To Start
It’s impossible to capture just how much excitement was in the air as we walked from our hotels to meet to queue up for the NYC Tartan Week Parade 2023. We were all decked out in various forms of “Rollergear” – that iconic look of the Rollers.
Once at the parade waiting location the atmosphere was electric. So much tartan! So many bagpipes! And so many men in kilts.
Our banner reveal for the NYC Tartan Week Parade 2023. It says “In our eyes you’ll always be a star.”
Doris snapped a great picture of me, so I’m happy to return the favor.
So many people packed into a one-block area waiting to march. And dogs. And mysterious creatures from Loch Ness.
I captured several videos while waiting. Here are a group of Scottish dancers dancing to a pipe and drum band warming up.
Lots of kilts, lots of pipes and drums bands walking to their appointed place to await the start of the parade.
And those pipe and drum bands took turns practicing. The sound of bagpipes was ever-present and magical.
I couldn’t get enough of the pipe and drum bands warming up.
I was a “line leader” for the parade. All that really meant was that I was responsible for getting a few folks to more or less fall in line as we assembled to march. Here’s Line I ready to go!
Just look at the smiling faces and tartan-trimmed clothes! Everyone interpreted “dress in Rollergear” a little differently. Some had tailors sew on tartan. Some wore stripey socks and tartan shoes. We were quite the colorful group.
Eventually the NYC Tartan Week Parade 2023 got started and, well, we stood around and waited some more.
That’s how it goes with parades, though. You just have to wait until it’s your turn. So we slowly crept forward to the turn onto 6th Avenue.
Also in this parade, we walked and then we stopped. So there was quite a bit of just standing around and waiting for the go ahead signal, too. Here we are on 6th Avenue and waiting.
NYC Tartan Week Parade 2023 Live Streams
There were numerous live streams of the event, and many captured the atmosphere before the parade began. Here we are just hanging around waiting – and talking!
You can hear drums and pipes in the background. And I’ll bet you can see Nessie!
We did stand around and wait a LONG time before the parade started. Here’s one of the BCREvents organizers, Laura, being interviewed by Iona MacGowan.
Here we are at 1 hour 14 minutes into this live stream just entering onto 6th Avenue. I am on the other side of the street.
Our piper, Kyf Brewer, is playing Saturday Night on bagpipes. Saturday Night was the BCR’s biggest hit in the US.
Watching these videos brings tears to my eyes. I’m so proud to have been in this parade not only because of my Scottish ancestry, but also representing the Rollers.
Here’s another take on our group.
And one more…
And another. I mean, seriously, I can’t get enough of these. This one might be my favorite because there are so many closeups of our group. Can you spot yourself?
After The Parade
As we ended our walk along the parade route, we filtered onto a side street. We gathered on the steps and sang a few Roller songs.
Renowned photographer Graham MacIndoe wandered by and risked his life to grab a lot photos of our group. He literally was standing on a narrow fence line and hanging onto a tree limb to get pictures – but not this one!
The parade was celebratory. This after-parade gathering was sweet. In some ways, it was the best part of the parade.
There are pipes and drums gathering on the other side of the street. As bands came off the parade route, they joined in or marched by. Sigh. It was incredible.
Here’s a quick video. Oops, there’s photographer Graham MacIndoe snapping photos!
And another quick video showing a pipe and drum band marching by.
This was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. And like I said, it meant so much to me. I am so grateful to have been able to march in this parade with BCR friends.
The group will not be marching in the 2024 parade, but who knows? Maybe we’ll be back in 2025.