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The annual Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon in Central Park, also known as the “hat luncheon,” brings out enough fancy headgear to outfit a royal wedding.
“We add to the beauty of the park,” said Joy Nash, who wore a green Victor de Souza hat and matching dress at this year’s edition on Wednesday afternoon. “We are the flowers and all the different colors.”
Guests’ bright outfits certainly matched the blooms. This spring the fete fell on a warm, sunny afternoon. Frothy pink cherry blossoms lined the tents while guests sipped pastel drinks next to budding lilacs.
“I feel like a walking party,” said Gillian Miniter, lightly touching her purple and pink firecracker of a hat. “I’m afraid it’ll tip over. I don’t think I put it on properly….You feel silly when you leave your house and everybody looks at you, but then you get here and you fit right in.”
The luncheon benefits the Central Park Conservancy, which funds 85 percent of the park’s maintenance.
“The park is the city’s single greatest asset,” said Lizzie Tisch, who wore a green snake hat by Aaron Keppel. “It’ s our responsibility to make sure it stays beautiful. I mean, look at these flowers!”