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Pasadena’s Wacky, Weird and Wonderful Doo Dah Parade Reemerges in Old Pasadena to Packed, High-Spirited Crowd

100 parade entries marched, rolled, and performed under fusillades of flying tortillas

Published on Monday, November 20, 2023 | 5:54 am

Under clear and sunny blue postcard skies worthy of the Rose Parade itself, Pasadena’s longtime “alternative” parade, formally called The Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade, rolled and strolled and rode and drove through Old Pasadena on Sunday, for its first emergence since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The now middle-aged parade, born in 1979, long produced by arts non-profit Light Bringer Project and the Doo Dah Preservation Society, brought old favorites and new participants, ready to rock with three years of pent-up wackiness, along with plenty of flying tortillas. 

This year’s parade featured  100 parade entries, the largest in the event’s history,  including art cars, mutant vehicles, rockers, punk bands, performance artists, showstoppers, odd dancing troupes, political pundits, satirists, and crazy floats. 

The whole crazy proceedings unfolded under the reign of Doo Dah Queen Natalie Flores of Los Angeles, known as Queen Mama’s Sunshine.

Participants included the Million Mrs. Roper March, Hollywood Highsteppers, Coast to Coast Critters, Space Tourists, Bark & Chatter, Flying Baby Boxing, Taco Tuesdays Bicycle Club, The Roller Coaster of Life, Urf McGurf, The Eye, Heart of Bok Choy Intergalactic Tossed Salad, The Church of the SubGenius End Times Procession, To the Moon Stinky Feet, Disco Hitched, and The People’s Banana, and the Highland Park Thursday Evening’s Society Circuit Bending Marching Band and Ladies’ Auxiliary, to name about a score or so.

“I’ve heard of this parade before,” said Sonia Morales, of Arcadia,  parked with her friends in front of Mills Alley, and armed with plenty of tortillas with which to salute and bombard the participants. “My parents came here a lot, but this is crazy, nothing like the Rose Parade.”

By the end of the hour-long parade route through Old Pasadena, Colorado Boulevard was practically paved with tortillas, and there was not a single rose to be seen.

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