The NYC Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival, one of my favorite New York events, flooded 5th Avenue with spring-time fashion and festivity yesterday. You’re unfamiliar with this fabulous event? Prepare yourself for more color then you’ve seen all winter. Here’s what it’s about, you’ll see why I love it so much!
It is a joyful celebration of spring!
A vibrant stage for creativity.
A giant canvas, over 10 city blocks, to display art.
A runway for avant-garde fashion to be admired.
The parade is unavoidable if you attend a service at any of the numerous churches along 5th Avenue.
While it is an “Easter” parade, it’s hardly religious in any way. Except when a guy decided to show up dressed like Jesus.
Anyone can show up and be a part of the festivities.
Some take the fabulous excuse to wear a super-fabulous Halloween costume again.
Others see a friendly place to socialize a pet rabbit.
It’s a perfect opportunity to promote an agenda.
Or promote a web series!
This was the 3rd year I’d been to the parade but my 1st time actually wearing a hat! I’m in a web series called The Jane Games. The show puts the heroines of Jane Austen’s novels into the world of reality TV: drama, hilarity, and competition. Two of the episodes feature a bonnet design challenge.
Yes, we actually wore these bonnets on the show! It seemed only proper to give our hats another outing on the streets of NYC!
Spoiler alert: My character, Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park, wins the bonnet challenge. Her prize is a dinner date with an eligible bachelor. So if you can watch the show you can see me on a date! You can find full episodes and check out the series at thejanegames.com and on youtube.
“I’m so bringing back bonnets.”
Let me tell you, wearing a bonnet was such a different experience than just observing the parade like I had in the past. Cameras were every where, constantly flashing. I said before, participants get a celebrity treatment of sorts at this parade, an Easter taste of what it’s like to have the paparazzi on your every move. If I looked at my phone to send a tweet, people would still photograph me!
So many people posed for pictures with us, we got to meet so many lovely people. Even a couple of fans showed up! We were interviewed for a podcast, fortunately the whole cast has a comedy improv background so we’re just as good with words as we are posing for pictures! While we were feeling like celebrities in front of all the camera, the biggest celebrity at the event was behind a camera. Bill Cunningham, the famed NY Times fashion photographer, comes to this parade every year. He took a picture of us! I doubt we’ll ever see it (or most of the hundreds of pictures that were snapped of us) but still it was very cool. Perfectly New York Cliché.
It’s fun finding photos on social media! This is why I love hashtags!
This Instagram is from an artist who drew a sketch of three of us! “It like the time that guy sketched you in Lincoln Center,” said my cast mate who plays Anne Elliot (she also co-wrote the show). “Ha! Yes it is!” I replied, “I love you for referencing my blog!”
There was one more celebrity I would run into that day. Well, he might only be a celebrity to me and maybe other Easter Parade enthusiasts. The one thing I talked and blogged and posted most about last year was the guy who made himself a mohawk out of peeps!
Well, he was there again this year. But barely recognizable! Without the peep-hawk! I was pretty proud of myself for recognizing him without it. I think he and his lady friend got a kick out of it too. She really upped the anti from last year, her fish head hat is quite a statement piece!
Because I participated this year, I really felt like I didn’t get to see as much as in years past. Which is undeniably true. But I still saw quite a lot! Creativity, art, and expression are easily my 3 favorite things on god’s green earth.
Theatricality, costume, color, flowers, and fashion would also make it into my personal parody of My Favorite Things. So this parade is my perfect cup of tea. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, I simply look back on my posts on the Easter parades- 2013, 2014, and now this year- and then I don’t feel so bad!
Yeah, I just riffed on The Sound of Music. Maybe you hated it, but I bet these guys would sing it along with me at Marie’s Crisis!