Emerging victorious from a raucous and exhausting campaign season that lasted much of the afternoon, professional belly dancer Nancy Urbach was named the Queen of the 2014 Pasadena Doo Dah parade early Sunday evening.
The parade, now in its 37th occasional year, held auditions at a packed American Legion Hall in an inspirational blend of mild debauchery, alcohol and loud music.
â€œItâ€™s incredible. Itâ€™s like a dream come true.â€ said Urbach, now crowned Queen Nancy, who has been auditioning for the role since 2002. â€œIâ€™m just so happy and so excited,â€ she added.
Altadena resident Clara â€œFreedom 911â€ Long was named first runner-up. It was the first attempt for Long, who has never seen the parade in person. Second runner-up â€œCount Smokulaâ€ was unavailable for comment after the announcement as he was busy accompanying the band on accordion.
20 candidates, both male and female, auditioned for the role of queen, the most ever, said Tom Coston, who has managed the parade since 1995. Nearly 50 judges, who qualified for the positions by buying beer for Coston and his friends, scrutinized the contestants, who ranged from a 6â€™4â€ transvestiteâ€”who brought the crowd to its clumsy feet with a surf guitar medleyâ€”to a burka-wearing gentleman from â€œAssisgrassistan.â€
Other highlights included â€œThe Swami from El Monteâ€ who hypnotized and then pierced a live balloon, causing no apparent damage, and an acapella version of the Runawaysâ€™ â€œCherry Bomb.â€
The first Doo Dah Parade was held on January 1, 1978, as a tongue-in-cheek protest against the Rose Parade. It has been held sporadically ever since.
2013-14 Doo Dah Queen Susanna Edmonds helped judge this yearâ€™s participants, saying afterwards, â€œIf I wasnâ€™t a pretty girl, I would have been a scientist.â€
This yearâ€™s Doo Dah Parade will be held on November 15, 2014, in a circular pattern near Colorado Boulevard. Â For more vist www.pasadenadoodahparade.info.