Chris Swanson | Creative Director

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Bonnets - An Easter Tradition

In chosen family tradition (IDC), we meet the night before Easter to throw our creativity and hot glue skills down in a fierce non-competition style blowout. There's a theme, a lot of laughs and then some more laughs, mixed with banter, glitter and gossip. It's a great part of the process that allows us all to descend upon our beloved Mitch's home and go to town with our ideas. Once the final rhinestone has been glued on, the last sip of Sangria consumed (for now), the hats are laid to rest, to sleep before their debut. This was the last year at Mitch's for this annual treat we've been blessed to be a part of, and we no doubt went full force with our ambitious headgear.

We return on Sunday, to finish any lingering detailing and consume morning beverages. Of course making a to go cup for our parade down 18th street. For those with weighty, or taller fashions, the tying begins and you mentally prepare with how you will hold your creation atop your dome.

It of course has to be well documented, and not just by ourselves. It starts with the group shot, and then as we stroll down our pavement runway, onlookers, residents, and other Easter enthusiasts snap their own shots. There's probably a stop (or two) in case of a need for grub, possibly adult liquids, or in some cases last minute additions to one's costume. No matter what, it all eventually leads down to Dolores Park and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's hosted event in the park. Atop the grassy knoll is a bonnet competition for which our host Mitch has previously taken the crown. This year however, we had a couple entrants from our camp, sadly no one took the crown, but mother nature was determined to destroy what we had painstakingly crafted.

We endured the rainfall for as long as we could, cuddled under single umbrella's 4-deep and bonnets secured, until the unthinkable happens. One thing falls from one's head dress while another watches their's fall in half. It was destruction at it's finest, and an epic experience had by all. despite efforts to fix the destruction, it's been done. some rush home, others to the local pub.

No matter what anyone says, it was one of the best days I've had, with people I adore and one of those  experiences I'm lucky to have in my life - or what some tell me is Halloween, everyday.

I won't ever forget these times and am happy to share a couple photos of my bonnet (theme was 'Under the Big Top') and tell my little story. Until the next epic adventure!




Chris Swanson