You may remember that back in November, just in time for St Andrew's Day, Tartan Ted packed his suitcase and left ScotlandShop HQ to fly to California. Ted is now travelling from the West Coast to New York in time for New York Tartan Week.
Ted initially spent a few days with The North Coast Scottish Society who are based in Eureka, California. The Society kindly took Ted to see the sights of Eureka and to their annual St Andrew's day celebration.
During the St Andrew's day celebration Ted was introduced to the Humboldt Highlanders Pipe Band. The Pipe band trace their roots back to the 1980's and a former pipe band called the North Coast Pipe Band, but unfortunately due to many members moving from the area the band ended in the mid 2000's. When a few of the founding members returned to Humboldt County a new band known as the Humboldt Highlanders Pipe Band formed in 2014.
Following his time with the Humboldt Highlanders, Ted then moved further down state to San Francisco. He even found a moment to write us an update:
"After my visit to Eureka, I headed south to San Francisco and met up with the Caledonian Club of San Francisco, who have been hosting their annual Scottish Highland Gathering and Games every year since 1866. These Games are the largest gathering in North America. I think ScotlandShop should attend next year!
It was great fun touring around San Francisco in a 1979 VW Bus. We crossed the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and visited the wonderful Golden Gate Park which was created by Scotsman John McLaren way back in the day. In Golden Gate Park, we discovered a Robert Burns Memorial Statue that was gifted to the City of San Francisco by local Scottish Societies (including the Caledonian Club of San Francisco and the St. Andrew's Societies of San Francisco and Oakland) on February 22, 1908. We also toured though San Francisco's Chinatown where we discovered another memorial dedicated to a Scots literary icon; none other than fellow son-of-Edinburgh and one-time resident of San Francisco, Robert Louis Stevenson! The monument which proudly stands in San Francisco's Portsmouth Square, was gifted to the city at an unveiling ceremony on October 17, 1897. I wonder if any other cities in North America have statues of famous Scots?
Sadly, my trip to San Francisco was all too short, but I must get on my journey east towards the Big Apple, in time for the Tartan Day Parade. Wishing the Caledonian Club all the best for their 154th consecutive Scottish Highland Gathering and Games coming up on Labor Day Weekend at the end of August. I felt truly honoured to have my photo taken with the solid silver quoit that was presented to Quoits Champion, Mr Carmichael, at the inaugural Games held in 1866!"
After touring San Francisco is was time for Ted to head to Jackson, California and to the Mother Lode Scots annual Robert Burns Supper. Ted met up with the piper, the chef (who made the haggis himself), Jose (who addressed the haggis) and Celtic folk band Golden Bough who entertained the crowds throughout the evening. Mother Lode Scots formed in 1979 when a small group got together to provide an association for Scots and descendants of Scots.
During the Burns Night celebrations Ted met Jessica, Fiona & Elizabeth from the Tartan Hearts School of Scottish Highland Dance. The girls did try to teach ted a few moves but he maybe needs a little more practice! Jessica is the Director of the Tartan Hearts and she began dancing in 1999 thanks to exposure to Highland dancing through her grandfather's Irish pub which had Highland dancers and bagpipers perform every St. Patrick's Day.
A massive thank you to all of the Societies who have made Ted's journey around California so fun!
Keep an eye on our #TartanTedUSA map to see all of the Societies, Clubs & Pipe Bands Ted meets as he travels towards the Big Apple in time to mach down 6th Avenue with us during New York City Tartan Week. Get in touch if you can help Ted on his journey across the USA.