Hundreds of revelers attended the Easter Parade & Easter Bonnet Festival on Fifth Avenue in New York, NY! It was a colorful array of stylish, outlandish and funky bonnets that could only be worn and showcased at this festival. Although, I had a lot of fun. The overall organization of this event was nothing of what I had expected it to be. Let me explain why.
Close your eyes and picture yourself attending a parade in New York City. The blue police barricades line the sidewalk on both sides of the street; separating parade participants from the attendees. Parade goers jammed packed standing behind them; while snapping away taking pictures with their cell phones. There is a high visibility of policeman on both sides of the barricades. The parade is timed, runs smoothly, and there are news reporters everywhere coaxing revelers into giving them an interview. Oh yes! What you have just imagined is the typical set up of a parade. However, the Easter Parade & Bonnet Festival was nothing like that.
People were everywhere! There was a wide array of creatively designed bonnets that stood out in the crowd. The colorful themes and concepts of the hats varied from Central Park, the New York City Subway, and of course there were lots of flowers and brightly colored eggs that resembled the Easter theme as well. All of the bonnets were very beautiful. For one day, the parade participants happily intermingled with attendees. The paparazzi tailed them. By that I mean, a sea of people followed them around taking pictures of the variety of costumes and bonnets. It was constant and non-stop. Looking around at all the smiling faces, it appeared that everyone was having a great time.
The street vendors provided food and beverages for purchase. Hot dogs, pretzels, and skewers were on the menu with a non-alcoholic drink of your choice. There wasn’t any music blaring from speakers, parade floats or over-sized balloons floating in the air. However, musicians used the parade as a platform to perform what they considered to be their best hits. Policemen were there giving directions to tourist and ensuring the overall safety of the event.
According to the parade participants, they decided on the design concept and themes of their bonnets days after the parade ended last year. Six months before the upcoming Easter Parade & Easter Bonnet Festival, they drew out their costumes and bonnets in a sketchbook. Over the next several months, they shopped for the perfect hat and began collecting decorations for it. Two months before the event, the actual work on the bonnets begins. This creation occurs while juggling busy work schedules and family life. The finishing touches are put on the elaborate hats and are ready to be showcased at the Easter Parade & Easter Bonnet Festival!
Overall, the atmosphere was very lively and interactive. The Easter Parade & Easter Bonnet Festival was similar to a fun dress up day!
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