Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm Going Bananas

Yesterday I Stopped Along The Way at a thrift shop in Gloucester, MA. It's really more than a thrift shop, it's like walking into the backstage of a costume designer's studio. If the stage performance calls for feathers, Banana's has it. How about some costume jewelry and vintage gowns?, they have it. Need some shoes and purses, just name your color and style, Banana's has it. Yesterday they had such a sophisticated display of hats in the window, and since I'm a sucker for hats I decided to stop. I have several vintage hats of my own that I often display in my home and wear on occasion. As of recent they seem to be getting a lot of use as dress- up musts. When I saw their display it reminded me of Easter Bonnets. I wondered where the tradition of getting an Easter Bonnet came from, so I did a little bit of research.

You can dress me up but you can't take me anywhere

European traditions of wearing flowers on a hat to celebrate spring were quite popular and as time went on ladies would wear bonnets to celebrate Easter and as a way to show off to family and friends. The bigger the bonnet, the more colorful and decorated, the better.

In New York City, starting as a spontaneous event in the 1870s, Irving Berlin began a New York Easter parade. It became increasingly popular into the mid-20th century—in 1947, it was estimated to draw over a million people. Although its popularity has declined significantly, drawing only 30,000 in 2008 this tradition still continues. This year if you're in New York on Easter Sunday (April 24) you have the opportunity to see Easter bonnets as "paraders" wander along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets. The area around St. Patrick's Cathedral is apparently the ideal place to see the parade. 
In your Easter bonnet
with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.
(Berlin, "Easter Parade", 1933)

78 Main St
GloucesterMA 01930
(978) 283-8806 

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