It started with 7 people 24 years ago, the Saturday before Easter--the Dillsboro Easter Hat Parade. It now boasts about 500 participants or about twice as many residents as the tiny mountain town. They come from near and far to march the 2 blocks around the decorated town. I first started participating when my youngest was in my belly 14 years ago.
Mom and daughter duo, Arlene and Ragan
The sillier, bigger, fluffier, more creative, the better.
Participants show up early to get a number and to be judged for the more than 20 different categories. Creativity shows no age limit.
And it's certainly not only the ladies who don their prettiest...
Real Men wear easter Bonnets.
The weather was perfect for all the face painting, crafting, egg painting, hat-making and bouncy-house jumping.
Heading up the Parade was a collection of vintage cars from the Old Timers Model A Club and the Mountaineer Antique Auto Club.
Waiting to wave to all of the Parade participants was this adorable group of lovely lasses all lined up in their wheelchairs looking so pretty in their easter bonnets. This may be my favorite picture of the day!
Those are not silks, ya'll.
Miss Lindsey Stack--love this freckle-face girl!
There were lots of furry friends.
And this man brought his tiny twin, who just happened to be wearing the same hat, pin-stripe shirt and golden bowtie.
I have some creative neighbors, don't you agree??!