The Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will celebrate 39 years of irreverent playfulness on the streets of Pasadena. Stepping off at 11am in East Pasadena along Colorado Boulevard.
The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade is a popular farcical and flamboyant parade held in Pasadena, California, about once a year, usually in the fall or winter, although in recent years it has moved to the nearest Saturday to May Day. The event has been copied by the Columbus, Ohio, Ocean City, New Jersey, and Kalamazoo, Michigan Doo Dah Parades.
The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade today features absurd and unique participants such as the BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team, the Shopping Cart Drill Team, the Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin, the Men of Leisure Synchronized Nap Team, The Marching Lumberjacks, The Army of Toy Soldiers, Claude Rains & the 20-Man Memorial Invisible Man Marching Drill Team, Uncle Fester, Count Smokula, The Radioactive Chicken Heads and the Committee for the Right to Bear Arms, a group that marches in precise formations while carrying mannequin arms. Snotty Scotty and the Hankies is still the official band. Many groups participate in the Doo Dah Parade as a fundraising effort for various charities. In 2010 the parade was moved to May 1, and also moved from Old Pasadena to East Pasadena. This Parade has spawned many others like it.
In August 2012, the Pasadena Museum of History opened an exhibit entitled, “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been: 35 Years of the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade”, containing donated items and photographs from the past 35 years of the parade and including a recreation of part of the original Chromo’s bar. Over 400 people attended the opening reception, many in costume.
Doo Dah history
Conceived in 1978 by several friends, including Peter Apanel, Ted Wright, Charles “Skip” Finnell, among others, sitting in a bar called “Chromo’s” (which no longer exists) in Pasadena, as an irreverent alternative to the traditional formality of the Rose Parade, which is also held in Pasadena. In 1978, January 1 fell on a Sunday, and the Rose Parade, which typically takes place on January 1, will not march on a Sunday. So they decided it would be fun to have an alternate parade on January 1 that year. Some of the early participants were Wright as first grand marshal, Snotty Scotty and the Hankies, the Lawn Mower Drill Team, the Briefcase Drill Team and General Hershy Bar, among many others. It was the first Pasadena Doo Dah Parade.
Please refer to the following map for its location. The parade starts at 11AM, but come early as the participants are getting ready.