Berlin memorialized the event in the 1948 musical with
Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Peter Lawford and Ann Miller,
but the New York Easter Parade tradition goes back to
a much earlier time.
Easter Parade is a New York tradition that dates back
to the middle of the 1800s. The social elite would attend
services at one of the 5th Avenue churches and parade
their new fashions down the Avenue afterwards.
less well to do would come to see what the latest trends
were. Many handy seamstresses found inspiration for
their client's wardrobes at the parade. It was a combination
of religious services and haute couture in the days
before TV, when only the wealthiest New Yorkers could
attend the hottest Paris fashion shows.
there is still some fashion involved in the spectacle,
the modern version tends to be more fantastic. Live
birds nest in bonnets of real flowers and pets are dressed
in the latest 5th Avenue doggy wear.
flamboyant headgear and costumes are paraded down the
Avenue to the delight of onlookers. You don't need a
special outfit to join in the fun. Anyone can step out
and stroll down the Avenue.
York weather in April is anything but reliable. "Record
April Snowfall, 10 Inches, and 60-Mile Gale Usher in
New York's Easter," was a headline in the New
York Times on April 4, 1915. While this is unusual,
a rainy April day can make for soggy bonnet watching.
good years, the weather is forecast will call for a
wonderful spring day with temperatures around 60 degrees.
can attend services or stop in to hear liturgical music
at one of nearby churches:
50th Street and 5th Avenue
Sunday Morning Masses:
7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:15 (Cardinal's Mass)
Sunday Afternoon Masses: 12:00, 1:00, 4:00, 5:30
53rd Street and 5th Avenue
8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Solemn Eucharist 2:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m. Solemn Evensong
Avenue Presbyterian Church,
55th Street and 5th Avenue
8:00 a.m. Communion Service
9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Festival Services
3:00 p.m. Concert in the Chapel
parade takes place on Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th
Streets. The action starts at 10AM and goes on for hours.
the spectators in the viewing stands or along the streets.
song lyrics predict, "On the Avenue, Fifth Avenue,
the photographers will snap us and you'll find that
you're in the rotogravure."
can dress up for a chance at being caught in the modern
version - the TV camera. Who knows, you may find that
you're on the evening news.
way, it's a lot of fun.
Animated Easter Parade E-card
Berlin's Easter Parade (1948)