After a pandemic cancellation in 2020, and an unsanctioned (albeit enthusiastically attended) gathering last year, thousands of people sauntered and sashayed their way up and down Fifth Avenue Sunday for New York City's Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival.

"I'm so happy to be back," Davey Mitchell, whose outfit was inspired by Yayoi Kusama, told Gothamist. "It's a day of great happiness and sunshine. There are so few moments like this in the world now, you have to find spaces where you can be happy. And I'm very excited by how many people are here. Everybody's been locked up in their house for two years. It's time to get out and mingle with the people, because that's what the city is all about."

The parade is a tradition that dates back to the 1870s, when high-society swells would show off their finery on Easter morning. And while today’s often cheeky — and sometimes quite deranged — outfits might have caused consternation back in the Gilded Age, the creativity on display brought shrieks of delight to the hordes of spectators who roamed around taking a million photos of everything.

It was Kelli Stryker's first Easter Parade, and she said it was "amazing. A little overwhelming because there's so much happening, but it's really amazing. The movie Easter Parade has been one of my favorite movies since childhood, so this is really special."

As always, much of the action happened in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, though the grand avenue was closed to vehicles from 49th to 57th streets to make room for the fantastically attired throngs. It's not really a parade, per se (though some random bagpipers marched by at one point); more like a pastel-tinted, bunny-eared block party celebrating the return of spring, and with it, a feeling of hope and joy, to New York City.

Mom and daughter Jane Schneider and Margot Isadora came in from Sag Harbor to be a part of the festivities.

"We really missed it," said Isadora. "We're so happy to be with people and be in colors and in the sunshine together. We're here to spread the spirit, and express our gratitude that we're alive and together again, and to welcome spring!"