Easter Bonnets on Parade in New York City 2012

On Easter, even the little doggies have their own bonnets for the parade down 5th Avenue
On Easter, even the little doggies have their own bonnets for the parade down 5th Avenue

The Annual Easter Parade

On Easter Day, after church services, there's a people's parade on Fifth Avenue, where you can show off your Easter bonnet and people will take pictures of you in your fabulous hat. If you've seen the movie, Easter Parade, with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, you know what i'm talking about. It's probably the only time that New Yorkers are willing to wear gaily-colored, over-the-top hats.

It's a very informal event. From 57th Street, New York City closes off Fifth Avenue through 49th Street, from car traffic to give people a chance to strut their stuff from 10AM until 4PM. People have been strutting for over 100 years -- not the same people mind you, but through the generations. How did it get started? No one really knows, but there are several churches in that area which are attended by prosperous people (the 1%) and for Easter, they would dress to the nines. After church services were over, the informal walk up and down Fifth Avenue was a chance to see and be seen in all their finery.

This couple is certainly well dressed for Easter, including bonnet for the lady and hat for the gentleman, accompanied by their pooch of course!
This couple is certainly well dressed for Easter, including bonnet for the lady and hat for the gentleman, accompanied by their pooch of course!

These days everybody joins in on the parade. You will find some really fabulous hats and all sorts of head gear. And there are several who really dress it up. Men dressed up in top hats and morning coats make a fabulous picture.

These dapper folk are ready for their close up!  Where's Judy?
These dapper folk are ready for their close up! Where's Judy?
They prefer contemporary Easter dresses
They prefer contemporary Easter dresses

Some hats were political, others tell you what the wearer likes and others were just creations of wonder. The great thing about the Easter Parade is that most of the hats were home made and cleverly designed. There are some hats that are extreme, of course, but that's the picture that we want to take!

There's even an Occupy Wall Street bonnet!
There's even an Occupy Wall Street bonnet!
I have no idea what he's wearing.
I have no idea what he's wearing.
She's letting everyone know she likes to surf -- on water not the internet.  Everyone wanted to take a picture of that hat, I couldn't even get close.
She's letting everyone know she likes to surf -- on water not the internet. Everyone wanted to take a picture of that hat, I couldn't even get close.
Is she an undercover witch?  Even she can't resists taking pictures of other people and their hats.
Is she an undercover witch? Even she can't resists taking pictures of other people and their hats.
It's a great bonnet but did the bird fly away or was it always empty?
It's a great bonnet but did the bird fly away or was it always empty?
She's a Mets fan, that so brave in New York.  She's wearing an old Shea Stadium hat.  That's been torn down, the Mets now play at Citi Field.  Citibank has the rights to the name for the stadium for seven years.
She's a Mets fan, that so brave in New York. She's wearing an old Shea Stadium hat. That's been torn down, the Mets now play at Citi Field. Citibank has the rights to the name for the stadium for seven years.

When you are wearing a fabulous hat, be prepared for lots of attention. In fact, if your picture shows up in the newspaper, that is a coup! Something to put in the scrapbook.

The Easter Parade is a great picture taking event. You can't really resist it because the hats you see are just something to behold.

For some, handling all the attention comes so naturally.
For some, handling all the attention comes so naturally.
For this cute little tot, the attention seems overwhelming.
For this cute little tot, the attention seems overwhelming.
While others really don't know what the fuss is all about.
While others really don't know what the fuss is all about.

Of course, the Easter Parade can become a family tradition where everyone participates.

A matching mother and daughter bonnet set
A matching mother and daughter bonnet set
Bonnets made from marshmallow bunnies and multi-colored Cheerios -- Awesome!
Bonnets made from marshmallow bunnies and multi-colored Cheerios -- Awesome!
The family that wears flowery hats together stays together!
The family that wears flowery hats together stays together!
Or it can be just the women in the family wearing lovely Easter outfits and bonnets.
Or it can be just the women in the family wearing lovely Easter outfits and bonnets.

And then there are hats that just strike your fancy.

She's so pretty in pink!
She's so pretty in pink!
I love this little girl's ensemble, she even has a matching parasol!
I love this little girl's ensemble, she even has a matching parasol!

After the parade, you can enjoy the decorations at Rockefeller Plaza on 49th Street. It's also dressed for Easter, complete with Easter eggs, Easter Bunny, and Easter Basket.

Giant, colorful Easter eggs among the topiary.
Giant, colorful Easter eggs among the topiary.
Look! A bunny trying to balance an Easter egg, you don't see that too often.
Look! A bunny trying to balance an Easter egg, you don't see that too often.
An Easter basket among the topiary.
An Easter basket among the topiary.

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Comments 9 comments

femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

flightkeeper,

What an awesome hub for such a cool event!!

This is the first time I've heard of this event in NYC, and I was amazed at how many people get involved and make a show with their creativity!

The photos were wonderful, and I took my time browsing through them.

The article says it's a hope for the participants to get their photo in the news.

You've pulled that off well for a good many of them with this!

femme


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Thanks femme, I'm glad you like it. It's a very informal, fun and family-oriented event. There were so many hats that were amazing and I didn't have the time to take a picture of each one. I thought though that what I got was representative. If you're ever in NYC you should do the parade and even better, participate!


debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

I had never heard of this parade, but it's cool that anyone can join! Sounds like lots of fun.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

Hi debbiepinkston, it is fun. If you get a chance to see the movie, Easter Parade, you'll understand how New Yorkers see this fun people parade.


debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

I'll have to look for that movie!


megni profile image

megni 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing. A delightful hub. I'm sharing this on Twitter and facebook. I love the idea that you htought enough to share the pictures.


Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast Author

I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures, megni. Thank you for sharing my pictures, shucks I'm tickled pink!


megni profile image

megni 4 years ago

Thank you flightkeeer for showing the rest of us what a big deal the Easter parade is in New York. It sounds like they had a lot of fun.


debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

It's wonderful that cities and towns can have such traditions as it seems that this is the kind of thing that brings people together and creates a sense of unity, a much needed quality in today's world!

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