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Eye on Life Magazine is a Lifestyle and Literary Magazine.  Enjoy articles on gardening, kitchen cooking, poetry, vintage decor, and more.

Put On Your Easter Bonnet for the Easter Parade

New York City’s Easter Parade got started back in the 1850’s when Manhattan’s elite, all dressed up in their Easter finery, spilled out of the elegant churches lining Fifth Avenue after Easter Sunday services, and paraded up and down the avenue, seeing and being seen in an intricate social promenade. 

People of more humble social stature soon took to lining Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday to watch their betters and copy their clothes and manners in a kind of fashion trickledown and thus the Easter Parade became a mingling of high and low, rich and poor, and a salute to Spring for everyone.  These days, the parade is as enthusiastic as always, but it is less about social standing or elegant fashion and more about theatrics, performance and humor.  What could be more fun?

People arrive from everywhere in some amazing headgear.  The Easter Parade is as much a New York tradition as the St. Patricks Day parade, or the  ball coming down in Times Square on New Years Eve.  It is a massive and wonderful sprawling informal tourist event and the wonderful news is that anyone can participate.

The city closes Fifth Avenue to vehicular traffic from  49th to 57th Street from 10am to 4 pm on Easter Sunday.  The rest is just  a happening with people, their pets, as well as some informal mimesm juggleers and street entertainers, wandering up and down the avenue wearing extravigantly extreme headgear in honor of the season.

  If you are going to be in town, check it out. Here is a link About.com’s Easter Parade Guide for more info.

Meanwhile, just to get you in the mood, enjoy some spectacular Easter bonnets from Easter Parades of the past.

Vintage Easter Parade Pix circa 1900



Some 21st Century Easter Parade Pix


ooh la la


Pretty in yellow








Lastly, Here’s a Video That Puts You in the Middle of the Parade