The roadway outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Midtown was transformed into a festive runway on Easter Sunday during the annual Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival.
The festival’s grand return saw hundreds gather in the afternoon sun and the all-encompassing shadow of the historic house of worship. The affair was a pageant of the young and old alike, convening to flaunt their holiday headwear.
From traditional Easter bonnets to extravagant designs based on movies like Star Wars, hats bobbed up and down Fifth Avenue to the flash of cameras.
For many attendees, the parade was the “it” place to be, whether they were native to the Big Apple or just stopping by. The festival also served as a showcase of creativity for the months of work that went into creating their stylish and somewhat outlandish headpieces.
Juana Ochoa attended the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival last year with her children, and she was so impressed by the artistry displayed amongst attendees that she wanted to take part in the revelry again. Along with her two children — Oliver Shin, 4, and Benjamin Shin, 7 — the family made straw hats with multicolored chenille stems and bunny ears, which she said took just under an hour to create.
“I wanted to come today to create memories. It’s important for childhood memories,” Ochoa said. “I like to see how creative people are.”
While it was Ochoa’s second year, Lynn Vezina, who hails from Kingston, New York, marked the occasion for the first time. Vezina declared that she has a small book with a list of fun and unique things to do in New York City, and since she was spending the high holy weekend in Manhattan, she decided to take part in one of the suggested activities — the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival.
“I came in for a few days to hang out, but this was definitely on the list,” Vezina said. “The weather is stunning. It’s gorgeous out, I’m proud to be out here with my outfit and my vintage gear and all the good stuff because I have it all in my house tucked away all the time and it’s good to take it out and enjoy it.”
Vezina made her Easter Bonnet using vintage flowers from the 1940s with personalized beadwork and bee designs.
The celebration continued along Fifth Avenue, from 49th Street up to 57th Street.