This morning someone I follow on Facebook posted this statement, “The term March Madness has taken on a whole new meaning for me.”  I believe I laughed out loud because I knew EXACTLY what she was talking about.   She and I have been part of the craziness that is leading up to Tartan Week in NYC.

First, let me say that I signed up to go to Tartan Week BS (Before Sam) because the gals in my local fan group, OH-landers (hey girls hey!), said of all the Scottish related events they had attended including Outlander events -THIS- was by far the most fun they had together.  Looking at the pictures they shared from last year and reading stories of their adventures, it sure did look and sound like they had fun!  My local group had joined forces with other local groups who had formed a new group called Outlanders United.  They were the folks that asked the Tartan Week Committee if we could be part of the parade.  Starz was a sponsor last year and the lucky Outlander fans that attended got to represent with banners and spiffy t-shirts!

Read more after the jump!

I haven’t attended many Outlander related events.  In fact, I’ve only been to two book signings, saw Emulsion with my local fan group,  and I saw Gillebride at the Ligonier Highland Games this year.  He was judging a Gailec speaking and singing contest and it was very interesting.  There have been several reasons for my lack of attendance at fan events and it  wasn’t lack of desire. I would have loved to be at that fan event in LA and made a premiere or gone to a gathering.  Basically, I can boil it all down to these three things;

  1. lack of funds
  2. a husband that still doesn’t get it (sigh…I know)
  3. health issues (October to August last year was bad)

I’m happy to say the stars have aligned! My health is better, my husband still doesn’t get it, but has come to realize resistance is futile, and plane tickets were VERRA cheap. I remember talking to the members of my group, who were making plans to attend again this year, and saying that it really was sounding doable!  They encouraged me to come and  so, I joined Outlanders United.  I’m proud to say this group is officially representing the Outlander fandom in the Tartan Day Parade on April 9th.  There are even official Outlanders United t-shirts!

The administrators for this group have worked tirelessly over the last year to make sure Outlander fans can be a part of this celebration of Scottish culture and heritage.  They aren’t in charge of anything other than Outlander United events, but they have helped keep us all informed of opportunities and experiences available.  I want to remind folks that we are guests of the Tartan Week Committee, this is their celebration and it has been going on long before Oulander hit Starz and it will be going on long after. They didn’t have to let us be part of this, but as an Outlander fan who has become fascinated by all things Scottish,  I’m thankful they did.

Thrilled with my decision to go, I moved forward. Things were going swimmingly!  I bought my ticket to be a paid spectator which basically means I said I was coming and I would get a swag bag!  Folks shared their excitement and any news on the clubs Facebook page.  There was some speculation as to who would be the Grand Marshal at this year’s parade.  Last year it was Graham McTavish, our own Dougal McKenzie!

But, Starz wasn’t a sponsor this year and some said it was unlikely they would have an actor as marshal two years in a row.  However, some speculated, Tartan Week fell fairly close to the estimated time for an Outlander premiere and Sam’s name was being bandied about.  Folks were of two minds.  “How great would that be!?” and “Good Lord, if they announce Sam as PM the city and the celebration will be over run by crazy fans!” …I guess you know the rest of the story.  Admins of OU have fielded more than their fair share of questions since it was announced that Sam Heughan was to be parade marshal and interest in attending Tartan Week grew exponentially.  I believe membership in Outlander United more than doubled in a few days and who knows how many other fans are coming! My guess based on Social Media posts is… a lot.   The volunteer admins at OU have been left with a Tunsami of requests for information that was the result of the Tartan Week Committee’s choice to ask Sam.  They  both have also been dealing with frustrated fans.  Fans who just don’t understand that people have been signed up for Tartan Week  events for a year and that numbers and slots are limited.   I would love to say fans have been gracious and understanding and most have, but some…not so much.

When I signed up, Tartan week seemed like a long way off so, I wasn’t really in a rush to do much planning.  I bought my plane ticket when I felt it probably wasn’t going to go much lower and I started to be concerned I wouldn’t get a good flight.  I don’t own any fan related t-shirts, kilts or sporrans, but I figured I would have to at least spring for some tartan!  I started to notice that other fans were waaaaay ahead on the plaid planning!  So, I asked “hey….whatcha doing?” to the Facebook group over at Outlanders United!  Let me just say this… we are gonna be so decked out!

I’ve seen some snazzy plaid converses someone ordered,

several really nifty flasks,

Amy Reynolds made her own coat!

Doris Smith will be wearing this hat! (click here for the shop)

A lot of fans shared that they would be wearing World Peace Tartan or something they brought back from a trip to Scotland.  Some folks will be wearing tartan passed down through generations.

Lots of local pride will be on display like the blue bonnet plaid worn by these fans from Texas.

We all know that Outlander fans are both naughty and nice and I have it on good authority that SOMEONE will be wearing a tartan thong.  LOL!  if you HAVE to wear something under your kilt then….I guess that sounds as good as anything.  I’m all stressed about what to bring and wear, but it doesn’t sound like Sam is too worried about it…

Me?………………………………………………….I bought a new plaid top and socks and decided to purchase a scarf designed by our kiwi Outlander friend Jenny Jeffries!  It has scenes from the first book! Here’s the link! https://t.co/ip3hcYk7Ry

Jenny told me she’s glad something of herself will be in NYC!

All of my Outlander tweeps were unavailable to join me on this Scottish excursion and that made me sad.  I could have brought my husband.  He’s a fun guy and I would have enjoyed sharing this with him, but I also didn’t want to be worried whether he was having a good time while I gave everybody in Outlander world a hug.  So,… he’s out.  I finally decided to invite my Outlander recruits! Family that I got hooked on the books and now the show.  Three of my adult nieces are coming from Maine, Tennessee, and Texas.  One of them has been scopeing out tartan wedding dresses to wear to the parade just to “speed things up” she says.  I wonder if anyone else has thought of that?  ;p

Once we had decided we really were headed to NYC, leaving work, babies, and nursing school behind, we waited for news of ticketed events.  I knew the competition for a seat at these events was going to be ferocious and only the quick-fingered and fast inter-netted would win the day.  So, like the good technologically challenged person that I am… I gave them the particulars and hoped things would work out. IT WAS INSANE  As I predicted, what was available went fast …within minutes of going live on Eventbrite everything was sold and we’d broken the website! Despite being told…I don’t think they truly understood what was going to happen.  All I have to say about our efforts to get tickets is wow are my nieces fast and I’m feeling fortunate. I felt bad that there wasn’t room for everyone, but then again that is a pretty tall order and there are after all, thousands of things to do in New York. It’s gonna be a fun trip.  In fact, some groups fun starts just getting there!  A group of folks that includes April Steele admin at the Caitriots’ fan club took over a train car into the city!  Last year, they had their very own bag piper! I can’t wait to meet folks from the UK and Canada and special friends from all over the US that I’ve been talking to for years!! Some folks are marching in the parade, and going to the premiere, others are going to be audiences in talk shows, there will be pub crawls, open-houses, costume displays, cocktail parties, shinty games, bagpipe concerts, whiskey tastings, ceilidh, tea parties, tours of Ellis Island with the history of the Scots immigrating to America, and hmmm….it’s New York, and yesterday we found out we’ll be watching the first episode with other fans that love Outlander as much as I do.

Crazy as fandoms are and sometimes that’s pretty crazy.  I’m proud to be a member of this passionate group. I’m so hoping that we become a part of NY’s celebration of all things Scottish and enhance not distract from their efforts.    I look forward to meeting you all!

  • The group Gratitude not Attitude  would like to thank the Admin at Outlanders United with a gift for all of their hard work on our behalf.  If you would like to donate towards a thank you gift please send funds through PayPal to jdotter@gmail.com and type in the note ADMIN FUND.

13 responses to “A LOOK AHEAD TO TARTAN WEEK

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  1. Enjoy Beth, I can’t go this year due to work but loved it last year. This year sounds awesome. I hate missing those Saks Windows and the subway cars.

  2. I am so thrilled that you are going to NYC for the Tartan Week events. You have put so much of yourself out there, it is an amazing opportunity to get a little bit back. Enjoy the experience and return full of bright memories!

  3. I hope you have an amazing time. How could you not?! I would love to attended, but I couldn’t get medical clearance from my doctor to travel even though I’m only a state away. 🙁 I plan to live vicariously through all of you!

  4. I have read all your posts and love and appreciate them I hope I meet you in NY

  5. Beth, thank you for keeping us up on all that will be going on in NYC for Tartan Week. Looking forward to seeing everyone’s photos!!!

  6. I chose not to go due to finances and health issues. I know you will have a great time. Look for my son in the parade. East Hall High School marchinng band from Gainesville, GA. He is so excited to be going to NYC . He loves all things Scottish, thanks to my love of Outlander.

  7. Can’t wait to meet you Beth! Do glad it worked out! My Outmander and the Green Outmander will have to get yours inline some day!

  8. All of you Enjoy for all of us who aren’t going!!!

  9. OH! Have a barrel of fun and enjoy every minute! You, Beth and each of your who are going. As a side bar note—my husband just doesn’t get it either.


  10. Always enjoy your blog Beth! Hope I get to meet you at one of the Outlander festivities in NYC!

    Gail (Sharon Gael on Twitter)

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