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The Hilarious and Amazing Bonnets of New York’s Easter Parade

Every year on Easter Sunday in New York City, thousands of folks promenade up 5th Avenue near St. Patrick’s Cathedral showing off the sometimes enormous bonnets they’ve made to celebrate Easter and/or Spring. According to Wikipedia, “Starting as a spontaneous event in the 1870s, the New York parade became increasingly popular into the mid-20th century—in 1947, it was estimated to draw over a million people.” In 1948, MGM released the movie musical Easter Parade starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, in which the famous song Easter Parade appears. The Easter Parade is still a popular event in The Big Apple, though it only draws about 30,000 people now. If you get the chance to go, you should. Creativity runs wild among bonnet-wearers, and the atmosphere is really upbeat and fun. Here are some photos of the finery and characters on display at the 2011 and 2012 Easter Parades in NYC to give you an idea of what 5th Avenue will look like this year on March 31:

nggallery id=’131420′

  • image-3295 1 of 26
    image-3295
  • All Her Eggs in One Basket 2 of 26
    All Her Eggs in One Basket
    So cute. From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Nestocopia 3 of 26
    Nestocopia
    From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user Free Verse Photography
  • Polka Dot Magic 4 of 26
    Polka Dot Magic
    Perf. From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Redman 5 of 26
    Redman
    From the 2011 parade. One of many characters you'll see like this, who takes "bonnet" to a whole new level.
    Photo credit: Flickr user Free Verse Photography
  • Cardboard Rabbit 6 of 26
    Cardboard Rabbit
    From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user Free Verse Photography
  • Cute Couple 7 of 26
    Cute Couple
    Love the print! From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user *Bitch Cakes*
  • Wonder Wheel 8 of 26
    Wonder Wheel
    Love his suit, too! From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user Free Verse Photography
  • Hansel and Gretel 9 of 26
    Hansel and Gretel
    From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user Free Verse Photography
  • Playboy 10 of 26
    Playboy
    Hello, sir. You look energized. From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user Free Verse Photography
  • Masks 11 of 26
    Masks
    Deep. From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Classical Sombrero 12 of 26
    Classical Sombrero
    I wanna be this guy. From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user Free Verse Photography
  • Mother and Child 13 of 26
    Mother and Child
    From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Dapper Dandies 14 of 26
    Dapper Dandies
    JELLY BEAN HAT. From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user korafotomorgana
  • Parasols 15 of 26
    Parasols
    Get it, ladies. From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Fancy Fella 16 of 26
    Fancy Fella
    I first went to the Easter Parade in 2011 and I saw this gentleman and his powdered-wig wearing friend. They looked great.
    Photo credit: Flickr user korafotomorgana
  • Geisha Girl 17 of 26
    Geisha Girl
    From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user korafotomorgana
  • The Mayor of Bunnytown 18 of 26
    The Mayor of Bunnytown
    From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Butterfly Bonnet 19 of 26
    Butterfly Bonnet
    From the 2011 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user korafotomorgana
  • Easter Showgirl 20 of 26
    Easter Showgirl
    Vegas, baby. From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Grasshopper 21 of 26
    Grasshopper
    Amazing. From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Sunflower Sunshine 22 of 26
    Sunflower Sunshine
    Men at werq. From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Mother Earth 23 of 26
    Mother Earth
    In full bloom! From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Fancy Bear 24 of 26
    Fancy Bear
    That's the title the photographer went with, and I can't argue. He wears your Grandma's clothes. He looks incredible. From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user jasminejennyjen
  • Old School 25 of 26
    Old School
    OMG I love everything about her. Is this Maxine from the Hallmark cards all dressed up? From the 2012 parade.
    Photo credit: Flickr user simplethrill
  • Fresh Flowers 26 of 26
    Fresh Flowers
    I can't tell if they're real or fake, but it doesn't matter. I love it!
    Photo credit: Flickr user jasminejennyjen

More from Carolyn on Babble:

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Only in New York: 25 Incredible Shots of Gotham Weddings

Look: Photographer Throws Layers of Paint at Human Canvas

New York Street Photographer Captures Children of Iran

10 Sweet Songs for Those Waiting to Find Love

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