Easter Bonnet Parade Ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

Easter bonnet parades have become a popular tradition. New York City, New York, has been holding Easter bonnet parades since the early 1800s. After Easter church services, women of upper class families would ride up and down the main streets of the city to show off their new Easter dresses and hats. People of lesser status often lined the sides of the streets to see what they were wearing, and the Easter Bonnet parade was born. With a little imagination and creativity, you can bring your own flair to an Easter bonnet parade.

Not Just for Ladies Anymore

The tradition originally involved women parading down the street in new bonnets, but who says traditions can't be improved on? Why not have the man and boys of the house join in the fun? Most gentlemen would be glad to sport their favourite cap or fedora and escort their lady down the street. You can also add a category for the best Easter cap for different categories and age groups for the boys. Categories such as most extravagant cap, most colourful hat, or best homemade hat can be added to the contest.

Let the Pets Join In

Include your dog or cat in the fun. Speciality pet stores offer hats and bonnets for different occasions, or you can create your own masterpiece for Fluffy or Fido. Craft and hobby supply stores have a variety of small straw hats that are meant for a child's doll, but with a little ribbon, and a few beads, baubles, and flowers, your pet has a hat worthy to wear for such a festive occasion. If you are really inspired, make matching bonnets for yourself and your pet. Don't forget to have treats ready for the best-dressed pet.

Themed Easter Bonnets

Try a different theme every year in keeping with the symbols of springtime and Easter. Bird- or flower-themed bonnets, symbols of Easter or baby animals are just a few examples of the many themes you can introduce to the parade. Ribbons or prizes for the best-themed bonnet or hat can be awarded at the end of the parade.

Made at Home Bonnets

Easter Bonnets that are created by the people who wear them make memorable souvenirs. Children especially love making and decorating them. These precious works of art can be made with paper plates and scraps of ribbon and material. The Kids Turn Central website offers visitors simple directions for several different types of Easter bonnets and hats that kids can make with minimal adult supervision and assistance.

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About the Author

Loren Estes became a licensed wildlife rehabilitation professional for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1998. She cares for wildlife native to Kentucky. In her spare time, Estes also lectures and volunteers for various nonprofit organizations involved in animal care and adoption.