Advertisement

Revelers strut their stuff at NYC’s famed Easter Parade: ‘Go big or go home’

People at the NYC Easter Parade.
People at the NYC Easter Parade.

It was “go big or go home” for many New Yorkers strutting their stuff up Fifth Avenue for Manhattan’s famed Easter Parade on Sunday.

But for longtime reveler Wayne Barr, 75, he kept his schtick simple.

Barr, who has enjoyed the parade every year since 1991, said he likes to just put on an old hat of his son’s — and smoke a Cohiba cigar painted orange like a carrot.

“[Before the cigar], I would just go as a normal guy, mingle with people, and now [with the cigar], people come to me,” said the Merrick, LI, resident, who works in publishing, to The Post. “I don’t have to seek them out. I just stand here.

“This hat my son used to wear, but then he turned 10, and he figured he was beyond that. So I kept the tradition and added the carrot [cigar, about 15 years ago]. It takes other people hours to create their costumes, but I just do a cigar,” he said.

Wayne Barr likes to keep it simple at Manhattan’s Easter Parade on Sunday with a cigar painted orange like a carrot. N.Y.Post/ Khristina Narrizhnaya
Wayne Barr likes to keep it simple at Manhattan’s Easter Parade on Sunday with a cigar painted orange like a carrot. N.Y.Post/ Khristina Narrizhnaya
Other parade revelers make the event a celebration of spring — under the watchful eye of NYPD cops. G.N.Miller/NYPost
Other parade revelers make the event a celebration of spring — under the watchful eye of NYPD cops. G.N.Miller/NYPost
Revelers wear everything from elegant gowns to bunny ears to get in the spirit. Matthew McDermott
Revelers wear everything from elegant gowns to bunny ears to get in the spirit. Matthew McDermott
Parade-goers are known for their outlandish outfits. Matthew McDermott
Parade-goers are known for their outlandish outfits. Matthew McDermott

Barr attended Sunday’s festivities without his son, who he took to the bonnet festival until 2004, when the boy “lost interest in the parade,” but said he still has “so much joy” participating in the annual event.

“You don’t see joy on Fifth Avenue all that often,” Barr said. “People are coming in and out, boutiques, stores, and they don’t have time for other people. Here you can see people from all over the world, South Korea, Italy, UK.”

Barr was among throngs who dressed up for the event, strolling and posing for pictures on Fifth between 49th and 57th Streets, showing off their bonnets and costumes made from plastic Easter eggs, plastic grass, flowers, felt, recyclables and even yellow cleaning gloves – carrying on a tradition that began in the 1870s.

“Every year, Easter is my favorite time of the year, I just love it,” said Kolu Baysah, who wore a black headdress over a green and purple striped gown. “From a kid, I always loved to get dressed up.

“It took me a couple of minutes to do my head wrap with fake beads, and the dress took me a couple of days,” Baysah of their outfit. “I just create whatever I come up to.”

A reveler smiles brightly in their colorful outfit outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Matthew McDermott
A reveler smiles brightly in their colorful outfit outside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Matthew McDermott
Another parade-goer wears a hat full of flowers to match a pink dress. Matthew McDermott
Another parade-goer wears a hat full of flowers to match a pink dress. Matthew McDermott
A man eats an ice cream while wearing his fun hat. Matthew McDermott
A man eats an ice cream while wearing his fun hat. Matthew McDermott
A crafty attendee uses plastic cups to create an outfit. Matthew McDermott
A crafty attendee uses plastic cups to create an outfit. Matthew McDermott

Jill Hertz, a stylist from Westchester County, created costumes for herself, her sister Lori Hertz and their friend Keith Lapinsky. They wore plastic grass adorned with Easter eggs draped over white shirts and pants and hats.

“We had something else in mind, but I went, and I found a square of grass, and I just went for it,” Hertz said.

“We’re supposed to be the Easter lawn where you go for like an egg hunt. And my hat, it’s like the whole shoboom shabang. Go big or go home,” she said.

One woman was carrying a bright parasol while wearing a hat and toting a bag of bright fake flowers that matched her peach-colored coat and pearls.

A teacher was seen wearing a large hat filled with fake flowers with a golden egg hidden within and a faucet that looked like running water was flowing into the plants.

The Easter event brings out zany creativity. Matthew McDermott
The Easter event brings out zany creativity. Matthew McDermott

“Like I tell my students at school, it’s magic,” she said in a video posted to X.

A man used plenty of plastic cups to create his outfit, while a woman wore a golden headpiece and a sparkly suit.

Others donned elaborate gowns and suits reminiscent of the early years of the parade, which were often known as “fashion promenades” when wealthy residents would walk along Fifth Avenue wearing their best after attending religious services on their way to brunch, according to the Museum of the City of New York.

In the parade’s early years, department stores would later recreate some of the outfits seen on the men and women strolling up Fifth Avenue on Easter.

The bonnet tradition started in the 1870s and has taken a more creative turn. Matthew McDermott
The bonnet tradition started in the 1870s and has taken a more creative turn. Matthew McDermott
A large crowd gathers in Midtown for the beloved annual event. Matthew McDermott
A large crowd gathers in Midtown for the beloved annual event. Matthew McDermott

Even pets got into the festivities Sunday.

Anthony Rupio, a pet clothing designer, was out with his two chihuahuas, Bogie and Kimba, who wore top hats with bunny ears and shirts with ruffles and flowers:

“I do couture for dogs, and of course for Easter Sunday, I wanted to match their ears with their coats,” Rupio said. “Everything is handmade, custom-made for them to their measurements, with some jewels and pearls, so a very festive look. Very happy with it. I made my hat last night, it took about 24 hours, because each thing is sewn on. The dogs took a few days.”

Pets get into the festivities with fun little hats, including some that feature eggs and fuzzy twists. Matthew McDermott
Pets get into the festivities with fun little hats, including some that feature eggs and fuzzy twists. Matthew McDermott
Participants wear fun sunglasses and flowered hats Sunday to celebrate. Matthew McDermott
Participants wear fun sunglasses and flowered hats Sunday to celebrate. Matthew McDermott

Mayor Eric Adams wished New Yorkers a “joyful” holiday and said he prayed for a “new beginning” where city-goers “rise up in the spirit of faith and renewal to make a difference in someone else’s life.

“Let’s work together to make our city a city of faith, love, and hope on this Easter Resurrection Sunday,” he said in a video message.

His message came just a day after a funeral for slain NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller, who was shot during a traffic stop last week.

Adams also wished the transgender community a happy Trans Day of Visibility, as it fell on the Easter holiday.

“I want our #transgender and non-binary community to know that your city sees you, stands with you, and will protect you. Always,” he wrote on X.

In the early years of the parade, dressmakers and department stores would watch the outfits seen on wealthy residents and recreate them for general sale weeks later. Getty Images
In the early years of the parade, dressmakers and department stores would watch the outfits seen on wealthy residents and recreate them for general sale weeks later. Getty Images
Fancy bonnets were a part of the festival in older times. Getty Images
Fancy bonnets were a part of the festival in older times. Getty Images
A woman in 1940 wore a hat showing a bird popping out of a broken egg. Getty Images
A woman in 1940 wore a hat showing a bird popping out of a broken egg. Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul encouraged state residents in a video message to “recommit ourselves to being good to one another and spreading the enduring messages of hope, kindness, and compassion that marks this season.”

She also acknowledged Trans Day of Visibility in a separate post, saying: “New York will always be a welcoming, inclusive, and affirming home for all.”

President Biden wished Americans a happy Easter, too.

He also recognized transgender visibility in a longer post, writing to the “bravest people I know.

“Today, we show millions of transgender and nonbinary Americans that we see them, they belong, and they should be treated with dignity and respect,” he wrote on X.