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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Parade- from High Fashion to Halloween

Reports have it that New York's Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue is a fast-fading tradition, down from a million participants in 1947 to 30,000 last year.

The Parade has also gone from being a place to make a fashion statement to merely a chance to show of outrageous hats and other merrymaking reminiscent of Halloween.

The decline probably also reflects NYC's decline as a garment manufacturing center...once one of the city's leading industries, this has mostly been shipped overseas, although designers remain in the City and it is the theme of one of the City's better know trade high schools. 

Supposedly dating from Roman times, the Parade became a prestigious event in New York back in the 1880's. Later social critics liked to compare the cost of a dress worn in the parade to the wages of a worker in the garment sweatshops, and during the depression ragged people marched to protest the economic crisis. 

Still, it's a chance for people to have fun and celebrate the coming of Spring... although this year people's minds are probably more on the current economic crisis than on dressing up.