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The party’s over for one, but just starting for the other: The 32nd Occasional Doo Dah Parade

January 26th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

Organizers say this Year Should be the Largest Ever….

Okay Folks. We can, once again, drive safely (not to mention park somewhere remotely close to our intended destination) in the city of Pasadena now that TOR parade extravaganza is over and done with. The RV’s are gone. The hundreds of porta pottys that lined every street corner are also history. The streets, somewhat clean again and those poor Penn State fans have gone home with their collective tails between their legs. The smell of pungent, wilting flora is all but gone and a bitter sweet memory in the digital archives of the Internet and my own personal hard drive.

There were perhaps more photographers than parade participants this year. Everyone had a camera, many had video clipping capabilities too. Even the famous White Coats…and the 2009 Rose Queen, Courtney Lee, was seen sporting a digital point and shoot….(which she used on herself as she turned on to Orange Grove Blvd.) Kodak must be kicking itself for losing all this business in the digital photo wars. There was a fortune to be made in film developing alone that day( had we been using film, that is) I only saw one film camera among the million plus people I allegedly passed on my annual trek to the hallowed TV corner.

However, I digress, we must now prepare for, yet another, somewhat less formal, but equally well attended, parade featuring a cast of thousands and hilarity by the metric ton.

We speak, naturally, of none other than that fabulously famous Pasadena Right of Passage, the annual (Occasional) Doo Dah parade.

We’re not sure if Stephanie Edwards and Bob Eubanks will be doing their usual live “play by play” descriptions of the floats ( as they do with the Rose Parade ), although this could prove to be an amusing sideshow on its own. Conventional ‘wisdom’ meets unconventional and eccentric Pasadena artists at their best. I think they’d be speechless, don’t you?

Again, I digress: This Parade also has a Grand Marshal, Charles Phoenix. A Queen Skittles, complete with floats with bands galore. A feast for all the senses indeed and very much participatory. It’s a bit like Mardis Gras with a twist of Hollywood hellraiser types just having a blast on a Sunday Morning. It( The Doo Dah Parade) is always on a Sunday, unlike the other ‘parade’ in town which has a “Never on a Sunday “ policy.

Sunday, Jan 18 is the date you’ll surely want to pencil in on your Black or Blueberry.

“I’m thrilled to be the Doo Dah Grand Marshal this year, “ says Phoenix with his usual verve. “I nearly collapsed with joy when the call came because it puts me that much closer to my biggest goal in life – to be the Grand Marshal of the grandest parade on the planet – the Rose Parade. The Doo Dah is just a stepping stone for me.” The 32nd Occasional Doo Dah Parade will celebrate the post-holiday season in its typically loud, irreverent style. Once a grassroots event begun in 1978, Doo Dah soon gained national recognition as the twisted sister to Pasadena’s ‘other parade’, featuring a woolly range of mischiefs, grounded superheroes, political pundits, homegrown satirists, art car inventors, and other bohemian frolickers. This year’s Grand Marshal follows in the footsteps of anti-consumer evangelist Reverend Billy, performing artists Culture Clash, rock-a-billy king Ray Campi, novelty DJ Dr. Demento, singer-songwriter Ian Whitcomb and Doo Dah’s signature Synchronized Briefcase Marching Drill Team. A native of Ontario, California, Charles is very proud to have been educated at the Used Car Lot School of Style; Disneyland School of Design; and Shopping Mall School of Sociology. As a teen he discovered thrift shops as museums of merchandise: the perfect place to study the underbelly of our mass consumerism culture. dsc_1072While working as a fashion designer in Los Angeles, Charles stumbled upon a shoebox full of someone’s old Kodachome travel slides in a Pasadena thrift shop. The box was marked “Trip Across the United States 1957.” He knew he’d found a treasure but had no idea that these slides would change the course of his life. Soon, collecting orphaned slides became an addiction that inspired his first Retro Slide Show performance, “The Retro Vacation Tour of the USA.” Charles, thus, transformed the classic living room slide show into a high-octane celebration of mid-century American culture.

Get there early…reserve a favorite spot along the route ( keep an eye on your chairs, I hear that the PD may confiscate ‘em if you have too many, too early…..it really happened this year along the Rose Parade route.

Doo Dah has been around for a while and is perhaps the most fun you can have at any parade, anywhere….as literally anything goes. The key here is not formality but creativity in both dress (and various states of undress) ,disposition and just plain ansd simple enjoyment.

This year’s Queen is Skittles , a freelance photographer and self proclaimed eclectic artist. A perfect fit for the Doo Dah 2009 Parade.

The 32nd Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will bring over 1,500 revelers into the streets in the annual spoof of its more traditional counterpart. The event, once named as the nation’s best parade ever (by organizers and the Reader’s Digest), is expected to draw an estimated 45,000 onlookers from all over Southern California and parts unknown.

Sunday, January 18, 2009 starting at 11:30am if everyone including Snotty Scotty is in place.

The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade takes place in the Old Pasadena historic retail and entertainment district. Convenient parking is located in structures on every block adjacent to the parade route. Metro Gold Line stops adjacent to the Parade are at Del Mar and Memorial Park stations. Classic Doo Dah marchers, including the Claude Rains & the 20-Man Memorial Invisible Man Marching Drill Team, Queen Skittles, Snotty Scotty & the Hankies, BBQ & Hibachi Grill Team, Caesar’s Circus, Men of Leisure Synchronized Nap Team, The Spawn of Captain James T. Kirk, the Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin and other perennial favorites will be on hand with newcomers from far and wide such as The Highland Park Thursday Evening Gentlemen’s Society Circuit Bending Marching Band & ladies’ Auxiliary, The Shirleys, Rulers of the Underwear World, the Chia People, Orchestra Surreal, Junior Miss Supersize, the Mystik Krewe d’Dieux Dah, Machina Candeo, Kid Swap, Universal Yoga, Howdy Krishnas, Hare Kirshnas, Hairy Krishnas, Horses on Astroturf, South Pasadena Sperm Donors, Carnival in Rio, Jazz Funeral for Pluto, Amnesty International, who knows how political heroes and zeroes?!, Wizard Ultrasonic Blind Cleaners, Tequila Mockingbird & the Royal Doo Dah Orchestra and, of course, the Clown Doctors f Outer Space, with so much more.

For More Information or how to sign up to be in this year’s Parade call (626) 205-4029 or visit our event website at www.pasadenadoodahparade.info

Don’t forget this Saturday, Jan. 10 H.R.H. Prince Andrew’s Pre Doo Dah Party 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, Old Towne Pub, 66 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena (enter Pub via Electric Alley off of Holly Street or Haynes Passageway off of Union Street)$2, to be donated to Tree People(626) 577-6583 Meet many of the participants in the upcoming 32ndOccasionalPasadena Doo Dah Parade. There will be performances byAndrew’s BadStuff, Old But Not Dead and the Pasadena Scots, as well as appearances by former Doo Dah Queens Naughty Mickie, Mercy,Tequila Mockingbird and Kavita Sharma, plus a trivia contest. Ages 21 and over.

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