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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Zippity DOO DAH Parade

Posted: February 15, 2009
by: Mark Stine

Once a year the country goes crazy with Super bowl Sunday in January…and the Rose Bowl Parade kicks the year off. But did you know…that pre Super bowl…post Rose Parade there is another equally fascinating parade which takes place in Pasadena?  The Doo Dah parade is a bohemian approach to the refined nature of the Rose bowl floats. This parade has all the pageantry of well….whatever the locals can dream up. Aging hippies…activists…groups out for fun and a good time...the goals for the Doo Dah parade participants are simple, have a great time in the wonderful Pasadena sunshine.

I had the good fortune and timing to be in LA on business and dropped in on my friends Monica and Doug in Pasadena for a visit. Doug and Monica, in addition to their home, maintain a condo above the parade route…part of Doug’s redevelopment projects in old town Pasadena. So there we were a congenial group…Copeland Huberman family and friends from back east…local Pasadena neighbors…photographers …brunching our way through a festive parade on a sunny Pasadena January late morning. Life couldn’t be better.

In keeping with the theme of irreverence, Monica started the day off with a local Salsa instructor…now I can dance, but when pressured to perform under the tutelage of experts, well two left feet seemed to evolve. Fortunately for poor Monica’s feet (and I think her mother’s too) the session came to an end.  The experience was fun and really set the stage for what was to come.


Our viewing location, the terrace balcony overlooking the Pasadena parade route gave us an unobstructed view of all of the themed groups to pass by. My favorite was the Synchronized Napoleon- Baguette Brigade…not to be outdone by the Guerilla with the Bagpipe brigade.

The whole concept of the Doo Dah parade, which originated back in the mid 70’s, was to provide that bohemian alternative to the rose Parade. They achieved it! Whether throwing tennis balls at the parade viewers, biodegradable tortillas or cabbage patch dolls, ( I won’t even begin to tell you what they did with aging cabbage patch dolls”) the focus seemed to be who could be most outrageous.

I do recall Monica at one point throwing her hands over her daughter’s eyes when some “naughty girls” passed by…all in good fun of course! And the Betty Bodacious Banjo Bucket Brigade were certainly a sight.


And I guess as a nod to the disco era when this whole thing began, a rousing group of disco partiers concluded the parade down the avenue to the sounds of “Burn Baby Burn...Disco Inferno” by the Trammps from Saturday Night Fever. www.backtodisco.com

A number of the parade participants were there to raise money for charity, others for self expression and mostly the rest just to have a great time.

So if you have not been to Pasadena……as you sit at home during this very cold winter of 2009 , buried under snow and ice …or no power….let your thoughts turn to vacation planning - perhaps pleasant Pasadena?? ( aren’t alliterations fun)…. for some sun and a Zippity Doo Dah Day!

Pasadena…Simply More
Pasadena Visitors Bureau


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