‘Tartan Day’ Celebration on Ellis Island This Weekend to Feature Captain Kidd and the Hangman’s Noose

Posted on: April 9th, 2015 at 9:22 am by
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The 14th annual Tartan Day celebration is jigging its way to Ellis Island this weekend – time to bust out the bagpipes! This year’s theme has been built around the nefarious Scot, Captain Kidd, a pirate who has significant ties to New York City. Aye.

Presented by the Clan Currie Society – one of the county’s leading Scottish heritage organizations – the weekend will be filled with plenty of song and dance from some of New York’s finest Scottish entertainment (Rampant Lion Pipe Band, Jerry Dixon, the Piping Pirate, storytellers from Wall Street Walks, the New York Celtic Dancers, and John the Kilted Juggler), and producer Robert Currie has added, “There may even be a few pirates lurking about the island.” Well, shiver me timbers.

Speaking of the Clan Currie Society, they commissioned an ‘Ellis Island Tartan’ back in 2011, weaving the American immigrant experience into the famous fabric.

Each color in the tartan reflects upon the American immigrant experience. The blue represents the ocean that had to be crossed to reach the American shores. The copper-green is the color of the Statue of Liberty. The red depicts the bricks of the Ellis Island buildings where 12 million Americans took their first steps towards freedom. The gold is the “golden door” that is the United States of America and the dawn of a new life in America.

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Photo: tartandayonellisisland.com/

Along with the pirate lore to be learned, the society has also asked 2014’s Young Scot award-winner, Craig Weir, to write and perform a new pipe tune entitled, “The Immigrant’s Lament” at this year’s event. You can give it a listen on Sunday, April 12.

Brush up on your burr and check out the festivities, running April 10-12. More info can be found here. Our resident historian and pirate expert, Allison B. Siegel, has been tapped as a historical consultant for this year’s exhibition. If you’re making your way out there, be sure to stop by and say hi.

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Tartan Day on Ellis Island comes courtesy of ScotlandNow.com and Celtic Life Magazine, the official media partner.

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