Talk of the Town - Mad hatters April 16 2003

The lake in Lake Claire doesn't exist. Lake Ponceana was drained nearly 60 years ago, leaving the 'hood high and dry. So Pat Marsh took matters into her own hands in an effort to find an identity for the 1,100 homes that make up the area east of Candler Park.

Inman Park has its vibrant spring festival, Little Five Points has its quirky Halloween Parade — and as an officer of the neighborhood association, Marsh wanted to create something for her neighbors. So three years ago, she got a group together for an Easter Parade. About 50 people turned up, and they marched their way down the streets with kazoos, strollers and big hats (at the time, Marsh was working at a store that sold funky hats.)

"There are not many Easter songs," says Marsh. "So we usually break out into a Beatles medley."

Creative types get into the act by making their own hats — some parade around with overgrown watermelons and fake grass perched atop their heads. Prizes are given for the "cutest" and "cleverest" hats. This year, Marsh plans to go as a "basket case," dressed in a basket-weave dress, green feather boa and Easter-basket hat.

Guess that's one way to show your community spirit.

Sun., April 20, 2 p.m. Begins at Clifton Presbyterian Church, 369 Connecticut Ave. 404-373-8982. goesemarsh@yahoo.com.