MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — The annual Easter Parade in New York City grows bigger, better and more creative each year.

The Easter Parade tradition started way back in the 1870s when it used to be just a casual stroll after church on Easter Sunday. But it has now grown into an eight-block stretch of Fifth Avenue closed to traffic and filled with gorgeous, whimsical and fantastical bonnets and costumes.

“I’m Sparkles, the magical unicorn from the land of Avalon where King Arthur takes his repose,” one reveler dressed as a unicorn told PIX11 News. “I’m excited to be back here. It’s an honor and pleasure to be here.”

“The greens just all came together,” said Nadege Alexis, a Brooklyn artist who is founder of the Regiven Environmental Project. “It wasn’t a lot of stuff. It’s all repurposed. My shoes were pink and now they’re green from the Salvation Army.”

Some people spend months and a lot of money creating their handmade costumes. For Carmen Paulino, crocheting was a form of therapy.

“I went through a traumatic situation,” said Carmen Paulino, wearing a beautiful handmade crocheted dress. “Our art piece was missing, and I needed some stress to be relieved and I kept crocheting.”

Last year was the first time the parade returned from its pandemic pause. Everyone was so happy to be back again this year, Including little Lucy Arnaz, a tiny dog with bunny ears on, sitting next to her owner on the steps of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

“She doesn’t mind the bunny ears,” said Juan Herrera, Lucy’s owner. “She loves all the attention.”

Some people plan their costumes for days, weeks, months and even a year in advance of Easter.