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THE NATION

Kilts Parade for Pride, and a Cause

April 07, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Never has Manhattan seen so many men's bare knees, including Sean Connery's, walking up the avenue.

The Scottish-born actor, clad in a kilt, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg led a band Saturday of about 10,000 bagpipers and drummers up 6th Avenue.

The event marked Tartan Day, celebrating Scottish heritage.

There were 1,200 participants from Scotland. Others represented 26 countries and all U.S. states.

The parade benefited cancer patients and survivors through the Britain-based Marie Curie Cancer Care group and New York's Gilda's Club Worldwide, which is named for the late comedian Gilda Radner. Participants pledged donations, and a fund-raiser was held Friday night.

When the parade stepped off at 2 p.m., piper Curt Anderson had a little something extra besides a wool kilt to ward off the 41-degree chill.

"I have a little bit of Scotch whisky. It's kind of cool today, so I've already had some," he said.

Any clothing under his kilt?

"Just shoes and socks."

It's Scottish tradition for men to wear nothing under their kilts, parade producer Thomas Grotrian explained. He was one of about 20 men wearing "trews"--or trousers.

"It's a lot more comfortable in this sort of weather," Grotrian said.

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