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The Easter Parade

April 16, 2010

This year, Easter fell during spring break for most metro Atlanta county schools. My mom and stepmom both work in county schools, meaning my mom and dad both separately planned vacations over Easter before realizing what they’d done. Luckily, I, too, was planning a vacation at the same time, to the same place. And that’s how we all ended up in various parts of New York on Easter Sunday.

Growing up, my mom loved nothing more than to show us old movies. (When I call her, there’s a 75 percent chance she answers my “What are you doing?” with, “Watching something on Turner Classics.”) She also loves holidays. The Easter Parade combines both of those loves for her, and while the memory of the movie has faded (but don’t worry, it’s on my Netflix queue!), the song has stayed with me, as she sang it to me every year and also always dressed me in a bonnet.

Since we found ourselves in close proximity to Manhattan this Easter, we went to the Easter Parade. Now, we didn’t do this quite right. The parade starts at 10 a.m., and we got there at noon. The Easter Parade starts out as a normal affair, with some semblance of floats, order and a procession, and turns into a slothlike, meandering crowd wandering Fifth Avenue to look at each others’ get-ups. While I loved seeing the classy and elegant things people sported, I didn’t realize that I could have just gone to the gay bar around the corner from my apartment in Atlanta and had a similar experience.

A trip to the gay bar means lots of people barely moving in a small, contained space, wearing crazy clothes, doing crazy things, getting drunk to techno music. The Easter Parade was this, minus the alcohol and techno. There were drag queens, drag kings and other similarly-perplexing individuals. My mom, being the paparazo that she is, managed to capture a few.

Don’t get me wrong — it was fun. But I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed. All I really wanted was to see other people dressed beautifully for the holiday. I didn’t realize some people would use it as a place to test their circus outfits. I mean, look at those two in the movie clip! How classy are they?! Maybe the scene with the bonnets made from subway tokens ended up on the cutting room floor?

Would I do it again? Sure. Would I fashion an obnoxious bonnet next time? Duh.

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