You Can't Keep a Good Parade Idea to Yourself: Kalamazoo Does the Do Dah [sic]

Published : Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | 5:38 AM

The city of Kalamazoo in Michigan held its own Do Dah Parade [sic] last Saturday, their version of the farcical and flamboyant Doo Dah parade that a group of friends started in Pasadena in 1978 as a parody of the more popular Tournament of Roses parade – the Rose Parade.

That year, New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday and the Rose Parade had to be moved to the next day, according to tradition. A group of Pasadena residents, including Peter Apanel, Ted Wright, Charles “Skip” Finnell, and Richard Caputo, among others, decided it would be fun to have an alternate parade that year, and so came up with the idea of a Pasadena Doo-Dah Parade, with Wright as the first grand marshal. Some of the participants in that first parade included Snotty Scotty and the Hankies, the Lawn Mower Drill Team, the Briefcase Drill Team and General Hershey Bar.

In 2010 the parade was moved to May 1, and also moved from Old Pasadena to East Pasadena.

The Pasadena Doo-Dah Parade has spawned several others like it, including the parade in Kalamazoo, which started in 1984 and has been stylized as Do-Dah.

Last Saturday, June 8, Kalamazoo residents witnessed their 2019 Do-Dah Parade, featuring dressed-up Ghostbusters, roller skaters, a banana car and many Kalamazoo residents dressed in outlandish costumes.

The Do-Dah parade is one of multiple events in Kalamazoo’s June Jubilee, which kicks off summer in the city.

On the same day, as part of the June Jubilee celebration, other events, such as Art on the Mall, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair, and an Ice Cream Social, also took place, followed the next day with concerts at Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park, according to a report on Michigan-based MLive.

The parade’s theme was “Life is Electrifying,” and ran from Lovell Street to Park Street, Park Street to Michigan Avenue, Michigan Avenue to Portage Street, then Portage Street to Lovell Street, the report said.

Kalamazoo’s Do-Dah Parade started in 1984, and since then has become a tradition for many Kalamazoo residents.

Other parades that have been copied from the Pasadena event include the Columbus, Ohio Doo Dah Parade, which happens every Fourth of July, unless it’s raining; and the Ocean City, New Jersey Doo Dah parade, usually held every April on the Saturday after Tax Day.

This year’s 42nd Pasadena Doo Dah Parade, known as the “twisted sister” of the conventional Rose Parade, is scheduled for November 24, 2019.

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