NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Scottish heritage and pride were on display Saturday at the 15th annual New York Tartan Day Parade.

The parade stepped off at 2 p.m. Saturday at Sixth Avenue and 45th Street in Midtown, and headed north to 55th Street. It marks the observance of National Tartan Day.

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The first parade in 1999 was composed of only two pipe bands and a small, spirited group of Scottish-Americans — including grand marshal Cliff Robertson. They walked from the British Consulate to the United Nations.

Since, the parade has ballooned to a much larger event, with many bands and thousands of participants.

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In 2002, the parade moved to Sixth Avenue for the first time.

Among the participants this year were numerous pipe and drum bands, Scottish dance groups, representatives of historic Scottish clans. Kevin McKidd of Gray’s Anatomy fame served as grand marshal – and yes, he did wear a kilt.

Tartan Day marks the Declaration of Arbroath – the Scottish Declaration of Independence – which was signed on April 6, 1320. Organizers noted that the governors of nine of the original 13 states were of Scottish descent, as were almost half of those who signed the American Declaration of Independence.

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