New York

Rediscovering New York: The Easter Parade (a.k.a Mill About) and Easter Bonnet Festival

No one would ever mistake Manhattan for being a touchy-feely city. People mostly keep to themselves and the pace can make even the most type – A personality long for a breath. But now and then a holidayIMG_9857 comes along and the city softens. Crowds brim with laughter and smiles and the only goal is to have fun—with strangers no less.

And so it was yesterday, at the annual Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival. The name is a bit of a misnomer really since there’s actually no parade, it’s more of an Easter Mill About with thousands of people front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Revelers spent weeks making beautifully crafted hats that ranged from stunning period pieces to off-the-wall wacky, some wore full costumes, and everyone else came to take pictures. Fifth Avenue was a barrage of selfies. Picture the commotion surrounding a Kardashian and multiply that by 10.

For those with the best ensembles (and there were A LOT of amazing creations), crowds surrounded them five people deep. For hours, the boldly attired were the center of attention. Most of the costumed folks I spoke to were long-time regulars of the event. The Easter Parade was a source of an annual 15 minutes of fame.

Did you know that the Easter Parade dates back to the 1800’s? Originally, the hoity toity of the time used to stroll down Fifth Avenue, dressed in their finest, after church services for the rest of the world to see.

Today it’s a spectacle of another kind, and loads of fun.

Here’s a peek at what I saw. (Bonus: you’ll find a little video I threw together at the end. )


Purely Patricia and her date were a big success. Her card reads, “Assemblage Fashion Stylish for People and Spaces.”


Purely Patricia



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This group of friends (above) have been creating themed hats for the parade for over seven years. Yesterday’s theme celebrated iconic New York.  Past motifs included Broadway Shows, The Seven Deadly Sins, Holidays, Superheros and the Zodiac. (Click any photo in the gallery above to enlarge it and turn the series into a slide show.)







A common scene around anyone that was dressed up. A crush of pro and amateur photographers









Another group that makes the Easter Parade a yearly group outing. Their theme: A tribute to Pearl River, a beloved store in China Town that recently closed. Jodie Trapani (front and center) is the brainchild and creator of the costumes. Her friends include: Donald Birge, Philip Shubin, Craig Houser, Dawn Hewins-Kelly, Lise Uribe, Laura Sands and Diego Mora. (I have no idea who is who other than Jodi. My bad.)



The lumberjack-rabbits. I loved these guys. They were so much fun.





I have no idea what’s going on here. He’s an Eater egg maybe?


Click here for more Rediscovering New York


P.S. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat at @Insatiabletraveler

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