On Easter Sunday, you have the opportunity to see Easter bonnets to the New York City extreme as "paraders" wander along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets. The area around St. Patrick's Cathedral is the ideal place to see the parade which runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This annual tradition has been taking place in New York City for over 100 years, Some things change, some don't. See what the Easter Parade looked like in 1900 with this photograph of 5th Avenue.
This parade doesn't have any floats or marching bands but it is a spectacle nonetheless. From around the world, people come to New York City to participate. Outfits range from elegant to outrageous. From outfits accented with live animals to civil war period costumes and the latest high fashions, there is a little bit of everything for the parade viewer. Many kids and groups participate by creating unique Easter bonnets and themed costumes.
What You Should Know About the Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival
Unlike most New York City Parades, the Easter Parade is a far less organized event. From 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. the area along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets is closed to vehicular traffic, and folks wander the street admiring various Easter Bonnets and Easter outfits. Visitors in town during Easter will enjoy stopping by the area for a bit during the festivities, but seeing the various Easter bonnets and costumed pets is probably only worth a short visit.
Easter Services at St. Patrick's Cathedral
If you're attending the Easter Bonnet Festival, you might want to enjoy an Easter Service at St. Patrick's Cathedral since it's right along the parade route. St. Patrick's Cathedral has a number of Easter Masses and Holy Week Services, including 8 on Easter Sunday.
Only the 10:15 a.m. Mass requires tickets, the others are open to the public.
If you want tickets to the 10:15 a.m. Easter Mass you have to send a letter to St. Patrick's Cathedral in January requesting the tickets. There is a two-ticket per family limit.
Other churches for Easter Service:
- Saint Thomas Church, 53rd Street and 5th Avenue
- 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church, 55th Street and 5th Avenue