Easter Sunday Draws Thousands to St. Patrick's for Parade, Mass

Sun shines down on the faithful and fashionable on Fifth Avenue.

New York is following a tradition the city has kept since the Civil War: the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue.     

Hundreds of people from around the world gathered in midtown Manhattan on Sunday, just outside the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral, showing off their Easter hats and finery -- along with some zany attire worn by more creative participants.     

The parade is really a leisurely stroll up and down Fifth between 49th and 57 streets. It starts in the morning and continues into the late afternoon. Anyone can march in it.     

A longstanding tradition, the parade has become a fashion show with bonnets and bunny ears everywhere you turn. Even animals, like the dog Bandit in the snapshot above, dress up for the occasion. It took about a week for Bandit's owner Anthony Rubio to make the dog's costume.

"I did everything myself by hand," Rubio, a Bronx resident, said. "A lot of it is hand-sewn."

Rubio says Bandit could wear the costume for hours.

"He doesn't mind it at all," Rubio said.

Some bonnets require arm strength to wear. Others are edible.

This year's parade also features activists from the gay community. Two different groups planned to meet in front of the cathedral to honor those who lost their lives because of prejudice.     

The spectacle centers on St. Patrick's Cathedral, where thousands gathered for Easter services to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

With a seating capacity of 2,500, each Mass today has been full.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan officiated the 10:15 a.m. Mass, which worshipers were required to have tickets to attend.

Ticket-holders stood in line about an hour prior to the service starts before they can enter the cathedral.

Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are several masses at St. Patrick's Sunday, including one in Spanish at 4 p.m. Those visiting New York build their vacations around attending Easter services at St. Patrick's.

The 5:30 p.m. Mass is the last one this Easter Sunday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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