The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade!

An annual Pasadena tradition.  People fill the streets, eagerly anticipating the musical prowess and feats of mechanical mastery to head down Colorado Boulevard.  It is a grand honor to be present on such a grand stage; the parade of parades.

We’re talking about…

The One…

The Only…

The Original…

Pasadena Doo Dah Parade!!!!!


Oh yeah…there’s also the Rose (or whatever it’s called) Parade, but who cares about that?  =P

The Doo Dah Parade is the antithesis to the Rose Parade.  While one celebrates honor, tradition, and excellence, Doo Dah celebrates anti-establishment and creativity.  It also has nowhere near the draw the Rose Parade does, but I think that’s the whole point.  You can expect to see all things strange and wonderful; jalopy vehicles, fantastic costumes, impracticably complicated machines, rough-around-the-edges musical talent, and celebration of the “generally unconservative.”

It’s a ton of fun and also really positive.  I could see some people being offended by it; you’ll see a few scantily-clad bodies, cross dressing, taboo religious and sexual reference, and some other things that are simply indescribable.  Haha, I guess that makes it sound like a bunch of debauchery, it’s not; people take their kids and there is rarely anything I would consider questionable (yes, I am a multi-year parade-goer)  I suppose if you had to take away one thing from the parade, the message would be “It’s OK to be weird.  If society considers you weird, then it’s OK to be yourself.”  As I mentioned, it’s a very fun and positive atmosphere, as well as really engaging.

While walking onto the street during the Rose Parade will likely get you tackled and zapped with a taser, the Doo Dah Parade is much more accessible.  The participants are known for mingling with the crowd as they meander down the boulevard as they stop and pose for pictures.  If you attend, do not be surprised if you find yourself caught in a crossfire of flying tortillas (yes, tortillas) getting flung from both the crowd and the participants (but please leave your marshmallows home!).

Continuing to describe it would simply be a disservice, as it really should be experience first hand.  While not quite the same thing, I snapped a few pictures and slapped together a quick video of what I saw at the most recent one.  Please enjoy the giant Bernie Sanders head as well as a tiny horse and many other wonderful things!

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If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Doo Dah website!