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Sag Harbor Easter bonnet parade, petting zoo draw crowd

Freya Engdahl, 4, of Brooklyn, holds hands with

Freya Engdahl, 4, of Brooklyn, holds hands with the Easter bunny before the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce's annual Easter bonnet parade on Main Street in Sag Harbor on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

For once, the showstoppers at Saturday’s Easter bonnet parade in Sag Harbor were not the imaginatively topped parade-goers — but some exceptionally charming piglets.

The parade, now in its 21st year, ended at the Sag Harbor Garden Center, where the piglets’ perhaps unusual presence at a petting zoo helped turn them into stars.

Diane O’Donnell, 65, of East Hampton, called the piglets “a clear hit with everybody” — including her 4-year-old grandson, Waylon Mattson. “I’m not sure if it’s going to influence his eating decisions.”

Grace Pope, 10, who spends weekends in Sag Harbor, said the piglets were irresistible “because they’re so cute,” although she also favored the brown and cream alpacas at the event.

One of about two dozen parade-goers who wore homemade Easter bonnets with pride, Grace spent an entire afternoon festooning her oversize lime-green and aqua top hat with ribbon, bunnies, chicks and ducks, crowning it with an Easter basket. This required much more than just skill with appliqué and artful patterns.

“We actually had to make this as well,” she said, pointing to the unusually wide brim.

Carmen Adriana, 41, of East Hampton, who wore a tiny white hat sprinkled with black polka dots at a dashing angle, said: “I’m calling it a very simple, mini top hat. I’m a wardrobe stylist, so any chance to dress up, I do.”

As she does every year, Beatrix Huberty, 8, of Sag Harbor, wore a special yellow dress decorated with pictures of animals.

This year, she added small, black Minnie Mouse ears and loaned the family dog, Gemma, a light blue and green tutu. The Rhodesian Ridgeback wore the tutu as a scarf because she shakes hats off, explained the girl’s mother, Erica-Lynn Huberty, 47.

Some stroller-pushing fathers who happened to be wearing baseball caps also joined the parade.

“It says Montauk on it, so it’s actually a Long Island Easter bonnet,” said Daniel Bennett, 31, of Quogue.

John Leonard, 46, of Sag Harbor, was an exception — setting off his beard with a straw hat topped with sunflowers.

So was Steve “Tuna” Flores, 63, of Bridgehampton, with his black, beribboned top hat and black jacket with mirrored lapels.

To him, the parade and zoo exemplified some of the best — but vanishing — aspects of small-town life.

“It’s just old America,” Flores said. “You don’t see it anymore.”

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