Chronology of Doo Dah

The roots of Doo Dah…The City of Pasadena has a long-standing ordinance that prohibits the Tournament of Roses from holding a parade if New Years Day falls on a Sunday. It is then staged the day after. Ruminating over this and several beers, a few locals at Old Town’s Chromo’s Bar decide to hold their own parade.  They obtain a permit from the City.  The rest is history…

August 2012-January 2013 “What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been: 35 Years of the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade” – For 5 months, the Doo Dah parade had a great retrospective exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History. According to the museum, it was one of the heaviest trafficked with highest visibility exhibit they have ever hosted!

Doo Dah 33 (May 1, 2010) – Going “where no parade has gone before.” Doo Dah officially relocates to East Pasadena, a small town neighborhood reminiscent of the early days in Old Town. The parade loops in a circle for the first time (since the city hall event) and welcomes many new entries and audience members. Parade organizers, again applying faulty arithmetic, proclaiming it the 34th Doo Dah!

Doo Dah 32 (January 18th, 2009) – The last parade takes places in Old Pasadena to a packed audience. But no one knew until…

Doo Dah 31 (January 20th 2008) – Doo Dah loves being occasional and moves its date to follow the Rose Parade. “No Doo Dah Day” is celebrated on Sunday, November 18th, 2007 in honor of the former pre-Thanksgiving parades.

Doo Dah 30 (November 19th, 2006) – Very scantily-clad cobra co-queens Saphira and Saphrona lead the parade through Old Pasadena as several T-34’s fly overhead; This was the first appearance of aircraft at Doo Dah. However, on one occasion a hot air balloon and a hang gliding spectator made an appearance above Colorado Boulevard,

Doo Dah 26 (November 24th, 2002) – Royal lineage is established… Molly McIntosh, daughter of Margaret Schermerhorn and Jack McIntosh, Doo Dah 2 King and Queen, is named reigning monarch.

Doo Dah 25 (November 18th, 2001) – Doo Dah celebrates its 25th anniversary again! Queen tryouts are held at the fabled Zorthian Ranch in Altadena.

Doo Dah 23 (November 21st, 1999) – Doo Dah practices bad arithmetic and celebrates a quarter-century of parading two years before its time!

Doo Dah 20 (November 24, 1996) – Popular radio novelty DJ Dr. Demento serves as grand marshal.

Doo Dah 19 (November 19th, 1995) – Doo Dah is “officially” moved to the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The first Doo Dah Queen Tryouts are conducted, ala the Tournament of Roses competition at the “Doo Dah Mansion,” a crumbling manor in Northwest Pasadena. Singer-performer Tequila Mockingbird becomes the first democratically-selected royal. Doo Dah is broadcast live and cover-to-cover for the second (and last) time hosted by comedians Paul Rodriguez and Judy Tenuta.

Doo Dah 18 (November 29th, 1994) – Parade Czar Peter Apanel sells the parade to Light Bringer Project for $2.00 and it returns to its former route in what is now Old Pasadena. Doo Dah is co-produced by Apanel and the local nonprofit arts organization.

Doo Dah 17 (November 27th, 1983) – The parade leaves its roots and relocates to Pasadena City Hall. A fence is put up and spectators are charged $10 a head to enter. The parade was also beset by mild rainfall.

Doo Dah 16 (November 25th, 1990) – Doo Dah is broadcast live and cover-to-cover by KCOP-TV. Richard Simmons and Vicki Lawrence serves as host and hostess.

Doo Dah 13 (January 1st, 1989) – No parade was held in honor of the 13th year. However, Doo Dah zealots celebrated New Years on Sunday by embarking on a  Doo Dah pub crawl.

Doo Dah 10 (November 30th, 1986 – Doo Dah beer is created and served in local taverns.

Doo Dah 9 (December 1st, 1985) – Willie Bowman gets to serve again as Grand Marshal and Terry Collins serves as queen for the second year in a row.

Doo Dah 8 (November 25th, 1984) – Willie Bowman, manager of the Loch Ness Monster Pub, also in “Old Town” is made Grand Marshal of the parade.

Doo Dah 7 (November 27th, 1983) – Corky Peterson, co-owner of Doo Dah birthplace Chromo’s Bar, and his wife Shirley are proclaimed King and Queen.

Doo Dah 6 (November 28th, 1982) – The parade is officially moved to the Sunday following Thanksgiving to avoid conflict with merchants depending on day after Christmas sales.

Doo Dah 5 (December 27th, 1981) – Doo Dah is becoming a local institution. A special exhibition is held at Caltech of photographs and other parade memorabilia. New Pasadena, the city’s new alternative press serves as the parade program.

December 31st, 1978 – The second parade is held in the same year. This begins a pattern of changed dates that makes the Doo Dah Parade truly occasional and its chronology somewhat befuddling.

January 1st, 1978 – The first Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade winds its way through the “Old Town” historic district in what is now retail-entertainment hub Old Pasadena. Dorothy Romani, actual “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom,” reigns as Doo Dah’s first queen.

Photo by Kelly Phillips

Photo by Kelly Phillips

Photo by Kelly Phillips

Photo by Kelly Phillips

Photo by Dennis Fitzgerald

Photo by Dennis Fitzgerald

Photo by Barry Holley

Photo by Barry Holley