Ever since the 1870s, when Manhattan high society types promenaded about in their Easter finery after church, New Yorkers have turned the holiday into an excellent excuse to dress up in extravagant bonnets, sharp spring suits and pretty dresses, with the outfits becoming increasingly creative as the years went on. Yesterday's Easter Parade, held as usual on Fifth Avenue and emanating up and down from St. Patrick's Cathedral, was a glorious spectacle, and thousands of people came out to take it all in.
Of course, the Easter Parade is not actually a parade; it's more like a quarter-mile-long block party attended by elaborately costumed revelers, giddy spectators, and frantic photographers. Yesterday, with temperatures hitting the high 80s and plenty of sunshine, it felt more high-summery than springlike.
Attire ran the gamut from bedecked bonnets (with flowers, bunnies, vegetables, NYC landmarks, Peeps, scenes from movies, the Winter Olympics (?)... really pretty much everything was fair game); to elegant examples of "Sunday best"; to themed group costumes a la the Village Halloween Parade; to political, mostly anti-Trump, statements. One family brought a basket of adorable ducklings which, no surprise, were extremely popular. And there were numerous dressed-up doggies making the rounds as well.
Fully-loaded NYPD Counterterrorism units were a highly visible presence around St. Patrick's, but for the most part crowd movement was unrestricted, spilling from street to sidewalk and into Rockefeller Center, which was in full bloom for the occasion.