Every Easter morning I wake with the same anticipation I had as a child who very much believed in the Easter bunny. My youthful excitement for colorfully decorated eggs has been replaced by excitement for fantastically decorated hats.
That’s right, readers, yesterday was one of the NYC events I look forward to all year:
The 5th Avenue NYC Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival!
This event famously started literal centuries ago, in the 1880s, as a way for church ladies to show off their Easter Sunday best. Today it still attracts some church-goers, but also those more inclined to worship the houses of Dolce and Gabbana and Lady Gaga.
One thing I can say for every single one of the thousands of parade attendees: we are ALL beyond thrilled that it’s finally spring! Easter Sunday it was 80 degrees in NYC and sunny! Surrounding myself with flowers and fashion was the perfect celebration of such sundress-worthy weather!
Easter and spring are all about rebirth. So here I am celebrating the rebirth of dressing for fun (a fascinator is the epitome of fun head wear) rather than function (not being freezing)!
So much fashion and creative inspiration everywhere you turn at this “parade” (really it’s more of a “mill about”). I want to be just like these ladies when I grow up and was honored when they wanted to take a photo with me!
I adore this event because it combines so many of my favorite things: Spring, Creativity, Fashion, and Flowers. Every year I push through the throngs of people, a smile never leaving my face. The New York cliché that New Yorkers are unfriendly absolutely disappears. Easter Sunday on 5th Avenue becomes a time where we all smile at each other, complement rather than judge, and share the awesome experience of the quaintly named Easter Bonnet Parade!
Okay, I could wax poetically about how much I love this event. But “A picture’s worth a thousand words”, goes one cliché and “Show, don’t tell,” goes another. So here are my favorite captures from my favorite spring time event. Hope they bring a smile to your face that’s sweeter than any chocolate bunny, and a feeling in your heart more fuzzy than cuddling an actual bunny!
Can’t get more New York Cliché than these home made hats representing all 5 boroughs with the Brooklyn Bridge, Mets Stadium, the Bronx Zoo, the Empire State Building, and a fully Peep populated Staten Island Ferry!
I’ve attended this parade for 5 years now (check out old posts if you want more: here!) It’s long enough to recognize old favorites and feel like I’ve made friends! This is Ed Hatter, he hand made this entire, elaborate, amazingly detailed hat!
We’ve followed each other on social media since meeting at the 2014 Easter parade and seeing him yesterday felt like running into an old friend. You should follow him too: @ed.hatter!
I love the 3 Stooges faces here, perfect complements to these gorgeous and expertly made Marie Antoinette bonnets!
I love this woman’s take on the traditional spring theme. No bunnies and chicks here, she’s got a bad ass volcano bonnet with dinosaurs!
How many NYC events are as enjoyable for kids and adults alike? The Easter Bonnet Parade is absolutely one of these rare one-size-fits-all events.
Okay, maybe not all. This kid looks underwhelmed (but for some reason, I love this picture!)
This little dude can’t even keep his eyes open! Teehee.
I was expecting more political commentary in the hats this year than I saw! Most people seemed to opt for escapism and optimism in creating a festive hat rather than donning (pun intended) a societal critique.
Of course there were exceptions! Not surprising with the parade ending a block away from Trump Tower…
Here’s a subtle “Free Melania” bonnet. Also saw quite a few Pussy Bonnets.
More creativity and color:
These bonnets are all made with actual fresh flowers! Impressive, awfully unique, and certainly can’t be saved for next year!
If there was one thing missing from this parade, it was Bill Cunningham. The iconic Times fashion photographer passed away last spring and this was the first Easter Bonnet Parade without him. He was a fixture of the parade, having photographed it since the 1950s. So many years, so many amazing photos.
I saw several bonnets made in honor of Bill. It was lovely and heartwarming to see his memory honored in this perfect, celebratory way.
Some people spend months hand crafting masterpieces, others grab a headband at CVS. Plus there are always balloon sculptors on hand for last minute millinery! Across the spectrum, every one gets into the swing of spring fashion at this event. And everyone looks fabulous.
Even/especially the dogs.
Happy Easter! Happy Spring!
Hope you had a fun, lovely weekend! Did you do anything festive?
Which bonnet was your favorite here? Would you/have you ever made a bonnet for Easter? What would your Easter bonnet style be? Classic/Themed/As BIG As Possible!!!/FLOWER POWER?