New York City’s Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival is a popular tradition of parading in outrageous Easter bonnets (hats) on Fifth Avenue in front of St Patrick’s Cathedral on Easter Sunday. Some people go to Easter Mass and then enjoy the parade.
NYC Easter Parade 2022
The 2022 NYC Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival is expected on Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th St, on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022 from 10am to 4pm. FREE
2021 NYC Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival
NOTE: According to NYC & Company, there is no official parade this year. It is still too early for us to gather in numbers.
It’s not really a parade in the traditional sense. People just walk around. But it is fabulous to see how creative your fellow New Yorkers can be. There are always some really good costumes and hats. And Midtown is eerily quiet. It’s good family fun.
The tradition dates back to the 1870s. That is why some people walk in period costume. Many create elaborate Easter bonnets. Some of them are way over the top, New York style.
Easter was originally a pagan Spring festival. The way we celebrate it today is influenced by the Jewish holiday of Passover and Roman Catholicism, an Italian religion.
Easter is the most important Christian holiday, so Americans of the United States used to dress up for it. Parading in your Easter finest was something everybody did. Fancy ladies competed with each other with the extravagance of their hats. Americans wore hats until President John F. Kennedy ended the tradition in the 1960s.
The Parade marches up Fifth Avenue from 49th St to 57th St.
The Parade starts around 10 am and can continue until 4 pm, although it tends to wind down around midday.
Marching in the Parade
The Parade is an informal affair. It’s nice if you wear a bonny hat, but anyone can walk in the parade.
Do take your camera!
Watching NYC’s Easter Parade
The best place to watch the Parade is around St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st St.
The Easter Parade Movie
The Parade was immortalized in “Easter Parade,” a 1948 musical romance starring Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, and Peter Lawford. The movie features classic music by Irving Berlin.