Decked out in anything from marshmallows and playing cards to banners, trinkets and plastic eggs, hundreds made their way along Fifth Avenue Easter Sunday in the Bonnet Festival at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Yet religion was not a requirement to come out and celebrate.
“I’m not Catholic,” said Jill Macklem of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, who wore a straw hat trimmed in tulips. “It’s a day of community and everyone’s coming out and being part of it.”
Beth Tallman of Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, represented her borough by sporting locally inspired headgear. “Our neighbors raise chickens, so we decided that we’d take the chicken theme to a whole new level and be the Bed Stuy Peeps,” she said.
Parade goers put on hats to promote a number of causes, including animal cruelty, same sex marriage and workers’ rights.
Moved by a recent wave of protests in the Midwest, Brian Griffin of Astoria, Queens, decorated his tall, vertical creation with labor speak slogans.
“In support of unions in Wisconsin, I made a hat that said New York is pro-collective bunnying,” he said. “United we bargain, divided we beg.”
Still, most came out to embrace the wacky, the quirky and a sense of camaraderie.
“I stumbled on the Easter parade several years ago,” said Mike Revenaugh of Astoria, Queens, who wore a motorized Ferris wheel head dress he built out of K’Nex toys and glue. “I saw it was a bunch of people making their own silly hats and that’s kind of right up my alley.”