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Last Updated:  Sunday, 30 March, 2003, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Tuning up for Tartan Day
Tartan Day launch
Tartan Day aims to encourage tourists to Scotland
A parade of pipers was launching a week of events aimed at celebrating the links between Scotland and North America.

Tourism body VisitScotland said that recognising and reaffirming those links would be the main priorities of Tartan Day.

The first of two Tunes of Glory parades was taking place in Chicago on Sunday.

The second will be held in New York on 5 April, bringing the week of events to a close.

The Tartan Day parade will feature more than 2,000 pipers and drummers marching down Manhattan's Sixth Avenue.

Develop relationships

VisitScotland was co-hosting the parades with Dewar's Whisky, as well as hosting a number of "networking events" for the US media and travel trade.

Chairman Peter Lederer said: "During these uncertain times, I believe it is important that we maintain and develop the existing relationships that have been built between Scotland and the USA over recent years.

"Tartan Day and the events prior to it play a vital role in building these links and VisitScotland believes its involvement in this year's Tartan Day clearly demonstrates our affinity with and support for the US market.

Tartan Day is a time for us to mark our shared history
Sir David Steel
Presiding Officer
"The Scottish product portfolio is extremely strong, including the genealogy brand which ties strong American roots to Scottish ancestry, which again builds on the excellent Scotland-American relationship."

Presiding Officer Sir David Steel will represent the Scottish Parliament in Canada and America during the week of events.

"Many people in North America feel a strong connection with their Scottish relatives and perhaps now, more than ever, want to ensure the links remain strong," he said.

"Tartan Day is a time for us to mark our shared history and our partners in Canada and America have been keen for the trip to continue, despite the current conflict.

"I think it is important that we are able to respect their wishes whilst respecting the very serious nature of the conflict and all those involved."

Pipers on form for Tartan day
07 Apr 02 |  Scotland
Stars back Scots cultural showcase
26 Feb 02 |  Scotland

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