Sublime weather welcomed thousands of festively attired promenaders for the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade yesterday. The annual event isn't a parade in the conventional sense—no floats or marching bands—but it's arguably more enjoyable. Instead of massive, dangerous balloons marauding down the avenue, the space is taken over by the people, many of whom come dressed in spectacular costumes and monumental bonnets. According to, the tradition dates back to the middle of the 19th century, "when the social elite would attend services at one of the 5th Avenue churches and parade their new fashions down the Avenue afterwards."

This year the elaborately costumed celebrants were joined by a handful of outraged protesters, who gathered outside St. Patrick's Cathedral with signs such as "Preaching Intolerance One Fondle at a Time" and "Take Back the Church. Fire the Pope." According to the Post, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who delivered his first Easter Mass in NYC, declined to discuss the sex scandal engulfing the Catholic Church, insisting the issue was "part of the gloom and the death of Good Friday." For more, check out Katie Sokoler's photos from last year.