|Women flashed their headgear at the Easter Parade in New York City. The parade dates to the mid-1800s, when the social elite would show off their new fashions after church services. (Michael Loccisano/ Getty Images)|
Easter parade hat tradition continues in New York City
NEW YORK — Rosemary Ponzo came to the Easter parade decked out as Judy Garland in a lavish black tulle hat with pink ostrich features in tribute to the actress, who immortalized the fanciful Easter bonnet in a 1948 movie opposite Fred Astaire.
The annual event along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is more of a leisurely stroll than a parade, with smiling folks — and pets, too — showing their homemade headgear as others snap their pictures or pose with them.
Nicki Gallas brought her large toy poodle, Maisie, dressed up in a flower bonnet and pinafore. In a makeshift bicycle basket, he happily posed for anyone who wanted to take his picture.
Gallas, who’s been coming to the parade for 30 years, also brought along her Eastern box turtle, Tuck. Holding him up at the parade yesterday, she added: “He’d be in his shell if he didn’t love it.’’
Brooklyn resident Maria Campanella could barely keep her head straight. Her bonnet, weighing about 15 pounds, was a tall cross anchored to an inverted basket made of 12 egg cartons filled with plastic colored eggs.
The Easter parade is a tradition that dates back more than 100 years.
It originally was a chance for prosperous New Yorkers to strut their finery after attending services at one of the churches on Fifth Avenue. Garland and Astaire immortalized it in the musical “Easter Parade.’’
In Washington, President Obama and his family marked the Easter holiday by attending a music-filled service at a historically black Methodist church.
More than 1,000 people welcomed the Obamas yesterday at the Allen Chapel AME Church. Joining him at the service were his wife, Michelle, daughters Sasha and Malia, and his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson.