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Sir Billy Connolly to lead New York’s Tartan Day Parade

Thousands of participants will follow the Big Yin along Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue.

Sir Billy Connolly will lead the New York Tartan Day Parade (Jane Barlow/PA)
Sir Billy Connolly will lead the New York Tartan Day Parade (Jane Barlow/PA)

Sir Billy Connolly will lead the New York City Tartan Day Parade on Saturday.

The Scottish comedian is to perform the role of Grand Marshal in front of around 30,000 spectators.

Thousands of participants including solo pipers and drummers, Highland dancers, pipe bands, Scottish clans and Scottish dogs will follow the Big Yin along Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue.

The 76-year-old, who has lived in the US since 2011, accepted the invitation to take part despite announcing in December that he was retiring from touring.

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Participants in a previous Tartan Day Parade in New York, which draws thousands of spectators (Donald Bowers/PA)

He said: “I’m thrilled to be this year’s Grand Marshal of the New York City Tartan Day Parade.

“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.”

Previous Grand Marshals include Sir Sean Connery, Alan Cumming, Sam Heughan and Brian Cox, while KT Tunstall became the first woman to lead the parade last year.

It is the showpiece event of Tartan Week, which brings a full programme of special events to New York from April 3-8.

Scotland’s Veterans Minister Graeme Dey will also take part in the Tartan Day Parade.

He said: “The annual Tartan Day celebrations are always a spectacular showcase of Scotland.

“I am delighted that Sir Billy Connolly, who has made such a significant contribution to Scottish culture, is leading this year’s parade.”

PA

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