We missed the early parade to have the all-you-can-eat Easter brunch at Red Fish Grill. Ike the Peep, a bad-ass version of Sammy Davis, Jr. in a bright yellow chick outfit, was there again to brighten everyone’s day from behind Joe-Cool sunglasses.
The weather was outstanding for the Chris Owens Parade – sunny and upper 70’s with a gentle breeze coming off the river. The burlesque queen’s parade features retired dancers, friends and sponsors throwing beads, toys and candy while wearing festive Easter bonnets. Not to be outdone, the Gay Easter Parade takes bonnets to a whole new level. There’s always at least one carriage full of hats so large you could slap wheels on them for transport.
This was my first year wearing my own Easter Bonnet. I usually just put on a pretty dress and take joy in seeing everyone’s creations and photographing some of my favorites. But this year my husband surprised me with a gift.
Easter is one of those moments that clearly separates locals from tourists. New Orleanians are usually in their Sunday best, many having just come from church. Men favor seersucker and linen in pastels and hats – including the traditional banded-straw hat. Bowties often make an appearance. Women typically opt for floral prints and bright, spring colors. Bonnets, fascinators and headpieces are a must. The tourists mostly wear blue shirts and jeans. Some wear ball caps. Walking the French Quarter, it’s like two different movies are filming on the same set. Wearing my chick & bunny festooned fascinator with a matching Trashy Diva floral-print dress, I felt ready to play my part in keeping the city’s traditions alive.