Seeing all the spring-colored dresses in our warehouse is like having our own Strasburg Children Easter parade – the pink, lavender, light blue, and white dresses all in a row, with their beautiful lace and ribbons tied into fabulous bows, ready for the floral wreaths adorning the curls of those who will wear them.  They’re ready to celebrate the arrival of spring and to gather with family as they celebrate in church.

It was going to church during the 1870’s that started the early Easter Parade tradition that a few cities have held onto until today.  Groups would gather in a certain area, wearing the clothes they kept for special occasions, and walk solemnly to their church for worship. After the services, they would follow the same path back singing songs of praise.  By the 1880s, the procession after church had become a spectacle of fashion and religious observance, famous in New York and around the country, as families would stroll from their church to see other decorative churches (and to be seen by their fellow strollers). From this time until the 1950’s, New York's Easter Parade, as it became known, was one of the fundamental ways that Easter was celebrated in our country, with similar versions in many other cities. Typically an informal event, with or without a religious significance, it was an opportunity to show off the latest fashions and elaborate hats.  At it’s most popular in 1947, it’s estimated that over one million people strolled along Fifth Avenue in New York from 49th St to 57th St.

If you find yourself in New York this spring for Easter, you can still wear your finest clothes and fanciest hats to join the fun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm along the same route.  The steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral are the ideal place to join crowds from around the world for this fabulous event. You can also join the fun at the New Orleans parade, San Francisco’s Dazzling Colors on Union parade, the Bunny on the Atlantic City Boardwalk event, and the Fun at the Mansion event in Asheville, North Carolina event to name a few.

Because I live in a city that doesn’t have an Easter Parade, I’ve decided to create one with family, friends and neighborhood children. Beginning at our house to create Easter hats, the kids will then stroll a couple blocks in our neighborhood, ending at a friend’s house for treats.  We’re having our parade the weekend before Easter since many spend the day with family.  Why not create an Easter Parade where you live? Our parade of dresses are ready to be chosen. And we’d love to see photos from your sweet event!

March 02, 2022 — Diane Janowak
Tags: easter

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