NEW YORK (AP) – Jocelyne Jeannot graced the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, one hand steadying the fantasia of butterflies perched on her head, the other passing out cards with her e-mail address.

“The base is actually a laundry basket,” she said of her creation, one of dozens of whimsical, elaborate hats on display at the Easter Parade.

A tradition that dates back more than 100 years, the Easter Parade was originally a chance for prosperous New Yorkers to strut their finery after attending services at one of the churches on Fifth Avenue. It was immortalized in the 1948 movie “Easter Parade” starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire.

Artist Michael Bonfiglio was using Sunday’s parade to launch a project consisting of covering a range of surfaces with dots of brightly colored acrylic paint. He distributed 700 handmade dot pins while dressed in a dot-covered suit and bunny ears.

“I love dots,” he said. “And I love to promote them and promote the energy they create.”

Hat wearers were vastly outnumbered by photo-snapping tourists speaking a Babel of languages.

“It’s fun, people from all different countries taking your picture,” said Maria Campanella, who was wearing the Macy’s flower show on her head. (She did “The Last Supper” last year.) “You feel like a supermodel.”

Some spectators had been under the impression that the event was an actual parade, rather than people milling around with bunnies and chicks or the Coney Island Cyclone on their heads.

“We asked a policeman,” said Mieke Wellemans of Antwerp, Belgium, “and he told us this was it.”

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