This year’s presentation of the Easter Parade along 5th Ave. once again displayed the creative and free spirit that New Yorkers have. From the traditional and elegant to the bizarre and breathtaking, all types of bonnets were everywhere to be seen. Rachel and I couldn’t believe how many people came out to show off their hat creations. Many owners dressed up their dogs to suit the occasion while some families helped to pass on the annual tradition that goes back to Civil War times. One such family all dressed as though they stepped right out of the late 1800s were making their way down 5th Ave to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They were stopped quite often for some picture-taking and were anxious to meet friends that were dressed in similar fashion. Rachel was quick enough to take some great shots of folks dressed in traditional attire reminiscent of New York’s Gilded Age.
The parade itself is casual and family friendly. The 10 block area for the event had magicians, puppeteers, dancers, live music and incredible basketball handlers amazing the crowd with their talents. Folks from all over the world came to see the fashionable display of bonnets and clothing. One family came as far as New Zealand only to be part of an amazing magic show. No. No one disappeared but the 10-year-old boy was amazed the foam star he squeezed in his hand transformed into a much larger foam bunny rabbit. One of the best things about this parade Rachel and I noticed is that many parents passed down this fun tradition to their children as many were dressed similarly. Even much older parents kept the tradition with their children alive and well as Rachel made friends with a wheel chair bound lady that claims she worked at Saks Fifth Ave for many years and is a veteran of the event. She even told Rachel, “I’ll see you next year.” I’m sure she will.
It was difficult to say which bonnet and attire was the best one. There was one lady that had a striking outfit from Hong Kong. Vanessa Sterbenz-Guerra from Queens had probably the tallest blue flowers anyone has ever seen. She says it took her 3 weeks to complete and was made in honor of her first child. Mike Revenaugh had a lego ferris wheel on his straw hat. Tony Gudell came from Washington DC with the facade of the White House and cherry blossoms on his hat. It was his first Easter parade but said it wouldn’t be his last. The colors were striking and vivid everywhere you looked which only helped to usher in best part of spring where everything comes back to life.
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