Hat parade turns heads in downtown Portland

Hat parade turns heads in downtown Portland
Anne Weiland, owner of Lulu's Vintage and creator of the annual Portland Hat Parade. (Photo by Shannon L. Cheesman, KATU.com Web Producer/Reporter).

PORTLAND, Ore. - If you were in downtown Portland on Saturday you might have spotted a bunch of women in hats and costumes heading down the street.

And if you saw them you might have wondered - what are they doing?

It was all part of the second annual Portland Hat Parade, a whimsical walk through the city's streets that was dreamed up by Anne Weiland, the owner of Lulu's Vintage on Northwest Burnside Street (near Powell's Books).

"It originally started (a few years ago) when I invited my friends over to my house to choose from my hats - my collection of vintage hats," Weiland told us when we asked her how she came up with the idea. "And then we all got dressed up in them and went to Pix Patisserie for dessert and champagne."

Weiland said the next year they did the same thing.

"And people both times were commenting on how they liked our hats and everything," she said.

So last year Weiland decided to put on her very own parade, but she held it during Easter time and the weather did not cooperate.

"Unfortunately it rained on my parade," she said. "But we still had lots of fun. The whole point is just camaraderie and dressing up and having a good time."

Weiland's love of vintage hats and clothes started when she was young.

"I used to dress up in my grandmother's Lucite heels and her jewelry and stuff and just have fun with my friends," she told us.

Which is why it's no surprise that Weiland wanted to create a special day where she, her friends and whoever wanted to join them could share their love of hats and fashion and have a great time.

"Everybody complains to me they never have a place to wear a hat or get dressed up for and so I thought I would make it an event," she said.

Last year about 20 people showed up and this year the turnout was about the same, with perhaps a few more faces in the mix.

Among the crowd was Alyce Cornyn-Selby, a tour guide at Portland's famous Hat Museum.

She came dressed in period costume, complete with a vintage parasol to block the sun (that's her on the left in the photo to the right).

Perhaps the most interesting hat and costume in the parade was the woodsy-themed outfit that Kay Sims wore (pictured at the bottom of the story). Her creation definitely turned heads.

"I've been really thinking a lot about the forest, and mystical creatures of the forest, and kind of feeling that vibe," she told us. "So I've been making a lot of costumes like this lately. I just wanted to be an otherworldly creature today."

And why not? After all, what's the point of a hat parade if you can't get a little creative and have a little fun? Our hats off to you, Kay, and all the other ladies who dressed up for an afternoon and had a great time.