This annual tradition started in the late 19th century as a somewhat upper class and aristocratic tradition for wealthier New Yorkers to show off their Easter bonnets and latest fashions, and had the characteristics of being a serious, religious event (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Parade).
However in recent years the tradition has evolved into something like the annual Halloween parade featuring many 'interesting' costumes, people ... and animals. More photos at: http://www.kodakgallery.com/edp128128/main/090412_easter_parade
This would have been the 19th century version of the Easter parade
This is the 2009 version.
Most of the activity was in the immediate area of St. Patricks, and what better honor is a St. Patrick's Easter bonnet.
This woman made it into Monday morning’s Daily News
Metrocard, Empire State, and Brooklyn Bridge Easter bonnets.
African Grey parrot on 5th Avenue. This parrot and owner you might recall appeared in a June 2008 cultural activity, when they were in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
Bernie Madoff Easter bonnet with foreclosed dog.
Men in drag Easter bonnets.
Full size cake Easter bonnet.
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