What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been: 35 Years of the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade

Retrospective Exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of History from August 15, 2012 – January 13, 2013

PMH’s exhibition What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been included a photo wall of parade and crowd shots; vignettes of entries – including the Synchronized Precision Marching Briefcase Drill Team; costumes and memorabilia of various Queens and music groups.  There may be more; but, to quote Ann Erdman, the Grand Marshal of the 2012 parade, “…this is Doo Dah after all, and one never knows…”

Doo Dah Opening

Sunday, January 1,1978 – The Day it all Began
Starts at Pasadena Ave./Green St., N. on Pasadena,
E. on Colorado, N on Raymond to Memorial Park. Beer fuels
great idea at Chromos located at 120 W. Colorado Blvd.
Queen Dorothy Romani, “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom”
Doo Dah 2, Saturday, December 30, 1978
Royal Couple Margaret Schermerhorn & Jack McIntosh,
Owners of Espresso Bar
After Party – Snotty Scotty, Pecos et al, Memorial Park
Doo Dah 3, Saturday, December 29, 1979
Queen Susie Wilson
Grand Marshal Skip Finnell
Coronation was held at the Loch Ness Monster
Doo Dah 4, Saturday, December 27, 1980
Queen Lauren “Lola: Jackson, age 11
Grand Marshals Corky Peterson, Jim Kendall & Chris Sulker,
Owners of Chromos
Doo Dah 5, Sunday December 27, 1981
Route ended at Central Park
Queen Martha Frost
After Party – Loch Ness Monster Pub
Note – “Pipe John” Herrman proclaimed himself Doo Dah King. Queen Martha voiced her disapproval by socking him in the jaw.
The incident was reported in the Pasadena Star News.
Doo Dah 6, Sunday, November 26, 1982
Route ended in Central Park
Queen Hazel Guinn, Owner of Hazel’s Bar
Grand Marshals Snotty Scotty & the Hankies
Doo Dah 7, Sunday, November 27, 1983
Route ended in Central Park
King & Queen Corky & Shirley Peterson
Grand Marshal Ian McKinnan, co-founder of the Loch Ness
Monster Pub
Doo Dah 8, Sunday, November 25, 1984
Queen Terry Collins
Grand Marshal & King Willie Bowman
Doo Dah 9, Sunday, December 1, 1985
Animals are banned (after Jirayr Zorthian and his donkey
bolted into the crowd!)
Queen Terry Collins (2nd time)
Grand Marshal & King Willie Bowman (2nd time)
Note: Friends raised money to send Willie to his beloved Scotland…not clear if they raised enough to bring him back.
Doo Dah 10, Sunday, November 30, 1986
Queen Liz Finnell
Grand Marshal Joe Messinger
Doo Dah 11, Sunday, November 29, 1987
No queen! King John “Hi Buddy!” Fisher
Grand Marshal Betty Hamilton (co-founder of Pasadena’s
Farmer’s Markets)
Lt. Colonel Gretchen Sterling
After party at Handlebar Saloon
Doo Dah 12, Sunday, November 27, 1988
Route ended in Central Park
Queen Richelle Small
King Bill “The Fox” Foster
Coronation at Toe’s Tavern (also a record release party for
exclusive Doo Dah recording artists, Snotty Scotty & the Hankies
After party at the Loch Ness Monster Pub
Doo Dah 13, Sunday January 1, 1989
No Parade – Famous Doo Dah Pub Crawl – went from the
Espresso Bar to 35er to former location of Chromos, then
across street to Barney’s, Ltd to Vitale’s Bar to the Loch Ness.
Queen Cloud Backus
John Chamberlin serves as mini-czar
Billy Booger represents Snotty & the Hankies
Doo Dah 14, Sunday November 26, 1989
Parade featured an actual wedding ceremony
Queen Cloud Backus (2nd time)
After party in parking lot of Julian’s Loch Ness Monster Pub
(Loch Rock 89!)
Doo Dah 15, Sunday, November 25, 1990
First TV broadcast with Richard Simmons (Snotty Scotty &
Billy Booger appeared as “Phony Baloney”)
Queen Lila Johnson (waitress at Café 60 North)
Grand Marshal Dr. Ray Oldenburg, neighborhood advocate
After party at Loch Ness Monster Pub
Doo Dah 16, Sunday, December 1, 1991
Televised again on Channel 13
King Dr. Jon Fischer King Blvd. Jr.
Grand Marshal Snotty Scotty and the Hankies (again)
After Party at the Loch Ness Monster Pub
Doo Dah 17, Sunday November 29, 1992
Queens Terese Basile & Gina Teresa (Olde Towne Pub bartenders)
King Jon Fisher
After parties are “Mondo Doo Dah” at Memorial Park and Old
Towne Pub
Doo Dah 18, Saturday, November 27, 1993
Parade circles city hall…and circles city hall…and…
Queens Ellen Hoffman & Sue Kelley, aka The Sisters Booger
Grand Marshal Richard Reese
Note: Tickets were $7 in advance, $10 to “get in.” Snotty Scotty
& the Hankies played in the center of the circle under a light drizzle
Doo Dah 19, Sunday, November 27, 1994
Parade is co-produced by Peter Apanel and Light Bringer Project. It moves back to Old Town and is televised cover-to-cover by KCOP-13.
There was no queen or grand marshal but there were two “Special Friends” – Claire Bogaard and Bill Doulos
After party at Memorial Park and Olde Towne Pub
Doo Dah 20, Sunday, November 19, 1995
Parade is now solely owned and operated by Light Bringer Project. Cover-to-cover broadcast again by KCOP-13.
Queen Sabrina, Diva of Pasadena
Doo Dah 21, Sunday, November 24, 1996
Queen Maryjean Shaffer is selected at Doo Dah Queen Tryouts
held at the “Doo Dah Mansion,” a crumbling house on stilts in Northwest Pasadena.
Grand Marshal Dr. Demento
After party featured Snotty Scotty & the Hankies and Dread
Zeppelin at Moose McGillicuddy’s
Doo Dah 22, Sunday, November 23, 1997
Queen Juliariana, cojoined twins (mother Juliana and daughter)
 is selected by Doo Dah judges. Sierra Madre resident Claude Hodge presented his wife’s ashes for consideration and she was named Queen Lily of the Hereafter.
Grand Marshal Jirayr Zorthian
Doo Dah 23, Sunday, November 21, 1998
Queen Tequila Mockingbird in Louis XIV wear wins the crown
when she is asked “Pavorotti or Weill?” Whereupon, she
tossed away her powdered wig (revealing green dreadlocks)
and sung “Mack the Knife” in perfect German.
Grand Marshals Culture Clash
Doo Dah 24, Sunday, November 19, 1999
Queen Erika Marrin aka Tippi Headtrip and the Lost Language
of Cranes.
Grand Marshal Ian Whitcomb
Doo Dah 25, Sunday, November 19, 2000
Queen Barbara Goodman (Snotty Scotty occasional lady
Grand Marshals Synchronized Briefcase Drill Team
Doo Dah 26, Sunday, November 18, 2001
Queen Kavita, the Queen of Peace and Love, is hoisted down
the parade route by bronze-chested young men on a bed of roses
Grand Marshal Norton Wisdom
Doo Dah 28, Sunday, November 24, 2002
Queen Molly McIntosh, daughter of Doh Dah 2’s Royal Couple, Margaret Shermerhorn & Jack McIntosh
Grand Marshal Richard Reese (again!)
Note: Doo Dah Royal Court participates in December
Northeast Los Angeles Holiday Parade ~ wins trophy
for “Most Unusual Entry”
Doo Dah 27, Sunday, November 23, 2003
Queen Mercy Powell (of Mercy & the Merkettes)
Grand Marshal Ray Campi, King of Rockabilly
Doo Dah Royal Court, including Tequila Mockingbird,
Andrew, Duke of Doo Dah and Rockabilly King Ray Campi
Invited back to Northeast Los Angeles Holiday Parade
Doo Dah 28, Sunday, November 21, 2004
Queen Cherry Capri
Grand Marshal Dabney Zorthian
Doo Dah 29, Sunday, November 20, 2005
Queen tryouts held at Zorthian Ranch
Queen Cherie Flores, fire dancer
Grand Marshals BBQ & Hibachi Grill Team
Discovery Channel documents parade with commentary by
actor-comedian Fred Willard and Tom Coston
Doo Dah 30, Sunday, November 19, 2006
Queens Sephira & Saphrona, the serpent queen naked nymphs
Grand Marshal Snotty Scotty (again!!)
Doo Dah 31, Sunday, January 20, 2008
No occasional parade in 2007!
Queen Michelle “Naughty Mickie” Mills
Grand Marshals Reverend Billy & Zavitri D of the Church of
Stop Shopping
After party moves to American Legion in East Pasadena (sign
of things to come?)
Doo Dah 32, Sunday, January 18, 2009
Queen Julie “Skittles” Klima selected by judges at American
Grand Marshal, Charles Phoenix
Doo Dah 33, Saturday, May 1, 2010
Doo Dah moves for the first time in its history from
Old Pasadena (formerly Old Town) to East Pasadena. Route
is a loop around street median on Colorado Boulevard.
Queen Erica Valentine (it’s about time)
Grand Marshal Corky Peterson, co-owner of Chromos, site
where Doo Dah Parade was hatched.
Doo Dah 34.5, April 30, 2011
Queen Rosalind “Red Rosie” Schoen (17 years old)
Grand Marshal Ron Stivers, owner of Poo Bah Records,
now in East Pasadena
After parties at the American Legion, Poo Bah Records, The Colorado
Bar, & Plate 38
Doo Dah 35, April 28, 2012
Queen Dianne “Patrizzi Intergalactica” Patrizzi
Grand Marshal Ann Erdman, retired PR Director, City of Pasadena
After parties at the American Legion, Poo Bah Records, The Colorado
Bar, & Chefs’ Center
Doo Dah 36, April 27, 2013
Queen Susann Edmonds, Good vibes, house parties & Jabberwockyjerk sauce
Grand Marshal Alan Zorthian, son of former Grand Marshal’s 
Jirayr and Dabney Zorthian 
After parties at the American legion, Poo Bah Records, The Colorado Bar

It all began at Chromo’s Bar and Grill. Chromos was located near Ernie Junior Tacos and down the block from the Hotel Taylor, an SRO in Old Town Pasadena. While some considered it nothing more than a blighted district in need of redevelopment others inhabited the neighborhood as a creative playground. Famous and not-so-famous artists rented cheap lofts and soon-to-be legendary bands rocked on at Chromo’s, Vitale’s, Hazel’s Bar and the Loch Ness Monster Pub. A perfect setting for something interesting to happen. And it did.
Pasadena is a city of many traditions, the most well-known being New Year’s Tournament of Roses. But if January 1st falls on a Sunday the parade is always held the following day. Peter Apanel (who would become Czar of the Doo Dah Parade) along with other Chromo’s officianados had a brainstorm: “What if we had our own parade?”
Apanel wrote “Whatever we did it would have to be just the opposite of what the Rose Parade does. They have a theme so we would have no theme. They have Judging and prizes, so we would have no judging and no prizes. Since none of us would be allowed in the Rose Parade, we would allow everyone in our parade.” They called it Doo Dah.
Thousands have since participated in or attended the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade, led each and every time by Snotty Scotty & the Hankies. People have come and gone and come back. It’s spawned numerous copycat parades across the nation.
 In 1995, Light Bringer Project, a Pasadena-based nonprofit, inherited the Parade and perpetuated its spirit and energy. In 2010 Doo Dah relocated beyond the “Other Parade’s” route into East Pasadena where it now lives on.
Doo Dah means many things to many people ~ perhaps, a little something different to everyone. Wacky and weird? Sublime absurdity? Rite of reversal? Twisted sister of the Rose Parade? Probably all of the above.
The very first T-shirt had the words “First Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade” emblazoned across the front. You have to wonder if they thought “maybe this thing’ll catch on.”
The curious place with the curious name. Chromo’s opened April 1st, 1977 at 120 W. Colorado Boulevard. Most of those who came in were in their mid-twenties to early-thirties and had roots in the sixties. That means they had an active interest in music, art and partying. They also loved their beer and Chromo’s had plenty to go around. Perhaps, the scrawled massage on the men’s restroom said it all: “Chromo’s has a way with God’s unwanted.” If that’s so, owners Corky Peterson, Jim Kendall and Chris Gulker provided them with a suitable playground. It should surprise no one that this is the place where Doo Dah was hatched.
Light Bringer Project
The Pasadena-based nonprofit is owner and producer of the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. True to its mission to “build communities through the power of art and education,” Light Bringer Project
Patrizzi Intergarlictica is proclaimed 2012 Doo Dah Queen!

Wearing spangled couture reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, Patrizzi Intergarlicta wowed over fifty spellbound judges as she hypnotically held court in the center of her own rave party. Projecting a light show against herself, the now Queen Intergarlictica also had judges and observers, alike, gyrating to her space-age electronic dance beats. She will lead a legion of colorful frolickers down Colorado Boulevard in East Pasadena for this year’s 35th occasional event.


Ann Erdman will serve as Doo Dah’s 2012 Grand Marshal!

Recently retired and well-loved public information officer Ann Erdman was selected to head up this year’s Parade as its Grand Marshal. Erdman has been a long-time Doo Dah enthusiast, having frequently served as its “official” pace car. In fact, she would never know how organizers were going to costume her until 5-minutes before the Parade rolled out. This includes appearances as a flower child, biker mama, captain of industry, baby in a giant high chair, and even a house plant!


Pasadena Museum of History salutes Doo Dah in a Major exhibition!

On Wednesday, August 15th, the Pasadena Museum of History will present What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been ~ 35 Years of Doo Dah!

The retrospective will feature artifacts, including props, costumes, video and photographs from Parades past, reaching back to its inception in 1978. The exhibition will be on public display through January of 2013!

A fundraiser for installation costs will be in the form of a cocktail party in the museum’s stunning garden in the company of the stunning Royal Doo Dah Queens and held on Sunday, July 1. Save these dates and stay tuned for more!!


Doo Dah Public Information Hotline – It’s Light Bringer Project for now for all callers!

Never could get that hot dude/dude-ette’s phone number in high school? Well you’re in luck because you finally get a number from something smokin’ hot: Doo Dah! Come upstairs from the basement and tell mom that you think you’ve met, “The One!”

Yes that’s right – Doo Dah has a new phone number, and we are sharing it with you. (Truth be told, we must confess that we had to tell Tom Coston the number too, so the bar for giving it out is clearly pretty low. But we digress.)

Get all of your non-entry-related Doo Dah public information and burning needs fulfilled by calling 626.590.1134 Operators are standing by. Or, asleep at the wheel…call to find out!


Pasadena Doo Dah Parade Queen Tryouts Are Coming Up!

WHERE: The American Legion Bar, 179 N. Vinedo St., Pasadena, Crosstreet is Colorado Blvd. (626) 792-9938

WHEN: Sunday, May 25th, 2014
2:00 pm – Doors Open and Live Music begins
2:00-3:00 pm – Queen Hopefuls Check-In
3-3:303:30ish pm – Queen Tryouts Start

COST: $5 cover to Legion’s charity; 1st 20 queen hopefuls to arrive are free!

Trying out? please call us at 626-590-1134 and we will answer your questions and give you tips. Open to everyone and we mean it! All are encouraged to dress randomly even if you are coming to watch.

HOW? The first 20 Queen Hopefuls to arrive get in FREE (1 admission per Queen’s entourage). Each Queen Hopeful will have a few minutes to WOW the Judges. Microphone and boom box, even drumroll, provided. Be ready to show us and tell us why YOU should be Queen! Bring Loyal Followers and HUMOR!

Featuring: The Legendary, Snotty Scotty and the Hankies, Horses on Astroturf, Many former Queens, including Erica, Skittles, Mickie, Tequila, Sue the Ref, Goofball Judges, Andrew, Duke of Doo Dah, Prizes, Cheap drinks, Smoking Patio, Pool and Big Screen TV! and Lots of Dancing!

The basics:

37th Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade!


Entry Forms and information to be found on the Entry Form page

More about the Tryouts: Individuals of all genders, shapes, ages, and persuasions tested their fate to become queen. Contestants are usually outnumbered by equally-costumed judges, who include many former queens, and another hundred or so parade entrants, tryout supporters, Legion members, and the curious public. The town-hall setting with long tables in beer-fest style, crock pot chili, and legendary Doo Dah House Band, Snotty Scotty and the Hankies on stage, set the mood for the lively caucus. Among those who have perennially tried out are, Count Smokula, Santa’s Bad Elf, belly dancer, Narayana, a smoking Amy Winehouse, Queen Mother Teresa Kennedy, the Swami from El Monte, Sabrina the Stimulus Package, Second-Hand Rose Queen, Crystal, Gopher Girl, Buffy the Dog, Ms. Laurel, Pinball Lizard, Mama “J”, and Miss Boy Frances. Last year’s Quuen Eric(a) Valentine, of Glendale, was a show stopper with his searing guitar licks.Other favorites have included Roobie Breastnut, former burlesque star, as Sarah Palin, Crystal Lightner, local diva of Altadena, and Jezzelynn on stilts.

Even More InfoOrganizers staged the first public tryouts in 1998 at a Gothic house on stilts. It then moved to the famed Zorthian Ranch, in Altadena. This and other parodies of Pasadena’s ‘Other Parade’ have fueled Doo Dah’s colorful and controversial life on Colorado Boulevard. The 34th Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will be held on Saturday, April 30th stepping off at 11:00am on the streets of East Pasadena. To enter the parade simply go to the website and fill out a form, or call for more information (626) 590-1134.


The 2014 Doo Dah Parade will Rumble through East Pasadena on a soon-to-be-announced date!

Daring to go where no parade has gone before, this year’s Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will again bring its own brand of raucous eccentricity East. The 2014 Parade Date Will Be Announced   will roll in East Pasadena along Colorado Boulevard.

Last year, dozens of inventive, if zany, art cars and floats accompanied a legion of frolickers past the mom-n-pop shops along East Pasadena’s shady tree-lined streets, including many first-time entries like the League of Steam, Machina Candeo, Conehead Rocket Sled, Hippie Cream, Easy Acres Chicken Sitters, Wisdom Arts Laboratory, combined bands of the 35th Dragoon Guards, Mile High Bed, Cheesus Chrust Pizza Company, 2011 Queen Red Rosie, Balkan Brass Band, and the Ladies Auxiliary for Cultural Enrichment, among others.

Known as the twisted sister of the conventional Rose Parade, the Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade began as a grassroots event in 1978 to gain national attention for its eccentric and, often, irreverent satire. The parade which has spawned numerous off-beat replicants across the country was named by Readers Digest as “America’s Best Parade,” and was recently featured in the book 50 Places You Must Visit Before You Die!

This year’s spectacle will see the return of such wildly diverse entries as a fleet of motorized Kinetic Pastry Science Mobile Muffins, Captain McHogwash’s Amazing Chundra, a humungous robotic spitting cat named Boo-Boo Kitty, oddly-attired sound inventors known as The Highland Park Thursday Evening Gentlemen’s Society Circuit Bending Marching Band & Ladies’ Auxiliary, and the crowd favorite Disco Drill Team, real American Bandstanders, Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin, OC NRML, The Billionaires, Occupy Doo Dah, Quilting Bees, Whistling Diva, The Bra-Ettes, L.A. Derby Dolls, classic, scary clowns, BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team, Hare Kirshna Chanters, Howdy Krishna, and the immortal Doo Dah house band Snotty Scotty & the Hankies, and many more!

Yes, another Doo Dah is here to help you forget your humdrum existence!


WHERE: Colorado Boulevard (between Altadena and San Gabriel Boulevards) in East Pasadena.


COST: Always FREE-of-charge!!

Plenty of street parking is available ~ Parade route is also just west of the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line Station (at Colorado Blvd. and Sierra Madre Villa). City busses go directly to the area.

Come early! Bring a lawn chair! Visit the local eateries and shops, and attend the after parties all within walking distance.

Official Doo Dah After-Party: American Legion, 179 N. Vinedo St. (2 blocks from Parade at Vinedo & Walnut), immediately following the event. Bands…cheap food and drinks!! $5 cover (supports a Legion charity).

Great Photos Available Upon Request


33rd Occasional Doo Dah Parade hits Colorado Boulevard ~ but this time in East Pasadena!

February 11, 2010

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.55.31 PM

Daring to go where no parade has gone before, this year’s May 1st Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will venture eastward for the first time in its colorful history. While the alternative event has enjoyed much popular success in the Old Pasadena retail and entertainment district, organizers are excited to bring the eclectic parade to the town-like setting of East Pasadena. “Old Pasadena has been a terrific backdrop and host for the Doo Dah Parade,” says organizer Tom Coston. “But with Doo Dah we see an opportunity to keep it fresh and interesting. We fondly leave Old Pasadena on the cusp of predictability. We look upon East Pasadena as an exciting frontier with its own local character and possibilities.”

The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade originated in Old Pasadena, then “Old Town,” in 1978 as a spontaneous grassroots event. Known as the “Other Parade,” it soon gained national attention as the eccentric alter-ego to the Tournament of Roses. East Pasadena, which boasts many small businesses and shops, is part of the Lamada Park District. Lamanda has a unique niche in Pasadena as it attracts more of a pioneer type of business. These businesses are what created the modern identity of the creative industrial arts that are located here. And who knew that at one time, this area had the largest winery in Southern California!

Pasadena resident Joe Colletti, Executive Director of the nonprofit, Mama’s Small Business Kitchen Incubator in the area says, “What we like to see is people venturing to a different part of Pasadena. There’s no doubt Doo Dah will bring more people to our neighborhood and that’s only going to be good for us.” Poo Bah Records, which started in Old Pasadena on Fair Oaks in 1971, is now settled on Colorado Blvd. in East Pasadena. Owner Ron Stivers says he is thrilled with the news, “I’ve been here for 6 years now, and have enjoyed plenty of parking, twice the space and have quadrupled my collection of music. It’s great to have Guitar Center next door, and the Colorado Bar after work. Doo Dah Parade moving here, with the mom and pop stores feels right, it’s like the Old, Old Town.”

The MayDay Doo Dah Parade will take place on Colorado Boulevard between Sierra Madre and San Gabriel. The exact route will soon be announced.

WHAT: Over 1000 revelers will be led by Snotty Scotty and the Hankies at this year’s Doo Dah, featuring entries like the Electric Squirrels, Martinis in the Morning, Howdy Krishna, Stupidiotic Evolution, Mystik Krewe d’Dieux Dah, Zombies of Debt, Flying Baby Street Racing and Stroller Cross, LA Derby Dolls, Dead Robert Palmer Girls, Drunk in the Garage, and classics like the Benzedrine Monks, BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team, Amnesty International, Raelian Religion, Doo Dah Random Dancers, Wicked Tinkers, Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin, Caesar’s Circus, Fabulous Sons of Ed Wood, Horses on Astroturf, and AND MANY, MANY MORE!!!

For public information and to sign up for the Parade call (626) 590-1134 or visit our event website

Human Rights Activist Ann Lau is given the 9th Annual Thorny Rose!

The 9th Order of the Thorny Rose has spoken once again. Ann Lau, a leading critic of last year’s China float in the Rose Parade, is the 8th recipient in 9 years. Former city councilperson Paul Little has been a back-to-back winner of the prickly prize. Lau is certainly best known for her political theater in front of the Tournament House portraying the harvesting of human organs from unsuspecting corpses, fake blood and all. She was promptly removed by the Pasadena Police Department.

Each year the Thorny Rose is awarded to Pasadena’s most controversial citizen, by an anonymous committee of local socio-political observers. Winning individuals have previously been distinguished by their brazen, often, confrontational style, indifference to public decorum and Lone Ranger bravado(a). This year’s awardee is no exception. Ann Lau, who’s also head of the Visual Arts Guild, has routinely prodded, scolded and harassed city officials to take a stand on China’s human right’s violations. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Doctrine, Lau, along with Guild members, Amnesty International and the local Falun Gong, lectured city council on current abuses against political activists there. Although the Human Relations Commission encouraged an official statement, City Council declined their recommendation.

The inaugural Thorny Rose was given in 2000 to Charles “Chuck” Cherniss, former salty columnist for the Pasadena Star News. Subsequent winners have included Paul Little, Roy Begley, Mary Dee Romney, the West Pasadena Residents Association, the entire Pasadena Unified School District Board and local gadfly Wayne Lusvardi.

As is the tradition for Thorny Rose winners, Lau will given an invitation to receive her award and be driven along the route of this year’s 32nd Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. Doo Dah takes place Sunday, January 18th, stepping off at 11:30am in Old Pasadena. Excluding last year’s awardee, Wayne Lusvardi, no Thorny Rose winner has ever passed on the invitation. Mr. Lusvardi was replaced by a 6-foot chicken.

A committee of socio-political observers selected Ann Lau, Chair of Visual Artists Guild, as the recipient of the 2009 Thorny Rose award in Pasadena ’s annual Doo-Dah Parade.

In their citation, Doo-Dah Parade organizers stated, “The Thorny Rose Award was conceived of nine years ago in hopes of sparking more open, even controversial, conversation about issues of concern among community members. The selection was and is meant to acknowledge the citizen who has been the most tenacious, and even loudest, in support of an issue, cause or opinion they most care about. Ann Lau, of the Visual Arts Guild, has certainly risen to this standard more than anyone over the last year in her lively protest of human rights abuses in China . We’re happy to have her as this year’s winner!”

Upon notification, Ann Lau stated: “I am honored to be the recipient of the 2009 Thorny Rose Award. When I told my daughters, they said that their mother rocks. This must certainly be the closest I will ever get to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. (smile)

Shining a light on the issues of international human rights in the City of Pasadena has been a most rewarding experience. How else would Mayor Bill Bogaard have indicated that he discovered the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the same time he rejected the recommendations of his own Commission on Human Relations to make a strong statement about human rights abuses in China ? Indeed, it was a one giant step for the Mayor to host the City of Pasadena’s first ever celebration of the Universal Declaration this past December.

Without the deep compassion and tremendous support of an untold number of fine citizens of the City of Pasadena , the issue of human rights in China might have been ignored. I thank them for their support and encourage them to continue to raise their voices.”

Charles Phoenix is Grand Marshal of the 32nd Pasadena Doo Dah Parade

Friday, 5 December, 2008 – Doo Dah staff
(Photo credit: Cathy of California)

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.55.42 PM

Entertainer, author and pop-culture expert Charles Phoenix has been known for his live, hilarious Retro Slide Show performances, fun-filled School Bus Field Trip Tours, crazy kitchen experiments and colorful coffee table books. Now he will be known for leading the notorious Doo Dah Parade, alter-ego to the Tournament of Roses, as its 2009 Grand Marshal. The parade will make its way down Colorado Boulevard in the historic Old Pasadena District on Sunday, January 18th, stepping off at 11:30am.

Fans across the nation know Charles Phoenix for his hip and highly original take on kitschy and classic American culture, which is characterized by an infectious enthusiasm and keen eye for oddball details. Charles is a recurring correspondent for NPR’s Day to Day and guest on The Martha Stewart Show. LA WEEKLY chose Charles for the cover of its 2008 People issue, calling him the “Kodachrome King.”

Parade organizers feel that Phoenix is a perfect match for an event that’s widely known as a send-up of convention and social norms. Doo Dah head Tom Coston says, “Charles is simply hilarious, graciously wicked and a truly artistic spirit—that spells Doo Dah.” The Grand Marshal’s entourage will also be pure Charles Phoenix. He will be traveling the parade route standing on the tailgate of a 1964 Ford station wagon that was special ordered by the Templton, California Fire Department. It’s fire engine red, complete with a siren on top and will be towing a vintage matching travel trailer trailed by dozens of champion roller skaters. The spectacle is everything!

“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.

While 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.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.55.51 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.55.58 PM

Photo Credit: Chris Haston


Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.56.05 PM

24-year old, Julie Klima (aka “Skittles”), with her signature pink doll-like hair, won over judges’ hearts on Sunday afternoon at the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade Queen Tryouts. The eclectic event was held at the American Legion Hall in east Pasadena. A current resident of Glendale, Klima, confesses she hardly remembers her presentation. “It was very noisy,” she said, “and people loved that I love colors and dress colorfully.” An Art Center Photography Graduate (2006), she brought camera and props, and spent most of the afternoon playing with the judges who posed for her pictures. She also schlepped their beers. A freelance photographer, Queen Julie will be taking her own self-portrait as queen, and is starting a series of Official Royal Portraits of the Doo Dah Queens. She also plans “show some love” to the people camping out the night before the Rose Parade, where she also plans to “have a fun party that everyone’s invited to.”

More about the Tryouts: As anticipated, individuals of all genders, shapes, ages, and persuasions tested their fate to become queen. Twenty one contestants were outnumbered by equally-costumed judges, including many former queens, and another hundred or so parade entrants, tryout supporters, Legion members, and the curious public. The town-hall setting with long tables in beer-fest style, crock pot chili, and legendary Doo Dah House Band, Snotty Scotty and the Hankies on stage, set the mood for the lively caucus. Among those who tried out were, Count Smokula, Santa’s Bad Elf, belly dancer, Narayana, a smoking Amy Winehouse, Queen Mother Teresa Kennedy, the Swami from El Monte, Sabrina the Stimulus Package, Second-Hand Rose Queen, Crystal, Gopher Girl, Buffy the Dog, Ms. Laurel, Pinball Lizard, Mama “J”, and Miss Boy Frances. 1st Runner up and second place went to bass guitarist, Eric(a) Valentine, also of Glendale. 2nd Runner up was a tie between Roobie Breastnut, former burlesque star, as Sarah Palin, and Crystal Lightner, local diva of Altadena.

Even More Info: Organizers staged the first public tryouts in 1998 at a Gothic house on stilts. It then moved to the famed Zorthian Ranch, in Altadena. This and other parodies of Pasadena’s ‘Other Parade’ have fueled Doo Dah’s colorful and controversial life on Colorado Boulevard. The 32nd Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will be held on Sunday, January 18th stepping off at 11:30am on the streets of historic Old Pasadena. To enter the parade simply go to the website and fill out a form, or call for more information (626) 205-4029.

PHOTOS, courtesy of Terry Miller.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.56.59 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.56.41 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.57.07 PM

That is Official Doo Dah Dates for 2010!

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.57.15 PM

Let’s talk about May Day, shall we? May Day has all kinds of colorful history and folklore associated with it. Per Wikipedia: “May Day marks the end of the uncomfortable winter in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for raucous celebrations, regardless of the locally prevalent political or religious establishment.” It is also largely associated with various Northern pagan and neo-pagan festivals throughout the ages. Many other people recognize it as International Workers’ Day and a time when unions and political groups give grief to the powers that be.

Okay, we can relate to all of this. Except, maybe, when the Soviets re-branded it with missiles and launchers in the Red Square. But May Day and Doo Dah?

How come we never thought of that?

Don’t miss these dates:

No Doo Dah Day = Sunday, November 22nd with the legendary Snotty Scotty and the Hankies!!! 2:00pm, $5.00 admission. Cheap drinks and food available. American Legion, 179 N. Vinedo in Pasadena. 626-792-9938. Full bar, big dance floor, TV’s for football, smoking patio, pool table. All are invited to wear their Doo Dah best!

Doo Dah Queen Tryouts = Saturday, February 13th at the American Legion, 179 N. Vinedo in Pasadena. 626-792-9938. Doors open at 2:00pm, Tryouts begin at 3:00pm. First 20 queens hopefuls to arrive are admitted free-of-charge!!!!!! $5.00 for all at the door. Food, pitchers of beer and well drinks at nominal (cheap) prices!

2010 Pasadena Doo Dah Parade! May 1st! Pasadena! 11:00am![Ed. note: Note time change] Bring a lawn chair or just sign up and be in it…

Pasadena Doo Dah Official After Party at American Legion, in East Pasadena, 179 N. Vinedo in Pasadena. Starts at 1:00pm or as soon as people show up after the parade. Snotty Scotty and the Hankies and Horses on Astroturf. Plenty of dancing!~ 626-792-9938.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.57.35 PM
Happy Holidays from the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade!

Doo Dah Success!

Monday, 21 Jan., 2009 – The Doo Dah Cabana boy at

Congratulations on one of the best parades to date! We will be posting new pictures soon, but while the volunteers are recovering from the Doo Dah hangover you can check out an article and photo gallery over at the Pasadena Star News (link below).

Also, don’t forget to consider making a donation using the link in the sidebar, no matter how small to the tireless folks at Light Bringer Project. Tom and Paddy work day and night, shoulder-to-shoulder with the incredible volunteers to make Doo Dah everything it has become. Consider sending the folks at Light Bringer Project a thank you in the form of a small contribution!

Here’s the link to the article:

Doo Dah Forever!

Reverend Billy and Zavitri D of Church of Stop Shopping are Co-Grand Marshals Of the 31st Occasional Doo Dah Parade!

Wednesday, 19 December, 2009 – Doo Dah staff

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.57.45 PM

Reverend Bill and Zavitri D of the Church of Stop Shopping will make an official appearance at the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade, which takes place on Sunday, January 20th, stepping off at 11:30am. This year’s Grand Marshal title is shared by Reverend Billy and Sister Savitri D, director of the Church. Reverend Billy, Sister Savitri D and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, are now featured in the nationally released documentary What Would Jesus Buy?, made by Supersize Me! Director Morgan Spurlock.

Reverend Billy founded the Church of Stop Shopping in the belief that consumerism is overwhelming our lives. “The corporations want us to have experiences only through their products,” proclaims the Reverend. “Our neighborhoods, common places like stoops and parks and streets and libraries, are disappearing into the corporatized world of big boxes and chain stores.”

Reverend Billy and Sister Savitri D maintain an online confessional where consumers can admit to impulsive brand-name purchases, be forgiven and encouraged to return to the basic principles of good living. Beginning in 1999, Reverend Billy began invading Starbucks and other retail chains as a zealous, anti-consumerist preacher. Since then the Church’s teachings have gained fire among repentent shoppers across the country. Preaching what they call the “Fabulous Worship” at the “happiest place on earth,” Reverend Billy, Sister Savitri D and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir made a sudden and surprising appearance at the Disneyland Main Street Parade, also captured in Spurlock’s documentary.

Sister Savitri D, coincidentally, enjoys a long-time Pasadena connection. She was raised at the Zorthian Ranch, homestead of well-known bohemian artist Jirayr Zorthian and his wife, Dabney. In fact, Sister Savitri D is the neice of Dabney Zorthian, now deceased, and also a former Doo Dah Grand Marshal. Reverend Billy says they are both “happy to accept this honor to be at the Great Parade and to honor the spirit of Dabney Zorthian by our presence.” Following the Reverend and Sister Savitri down Colorado Boulevard in Old Pasadena will be over 1,200 colorful marchers, many of whom are first-time Doo Dah participants.

For More Information, go to

You can also read an article about Reverend Billy and his role as Grand Marshal that was published by the Mountain-Views Observer, here.

Announcing 2008’s Doo Dah Queen!
Naughty Mickie, Selected by the Judges!

Wednesday, 19 December, 2007 – Doo Dah staff

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.57.56 PM

Dancer, Sword-ist, Enlightened by Doo Dah, and much much more!

Michelle was picked by the over 40 judges as Queen of the Doo Dah at the American Legion Bar in East Pasadena.

Michelle will be performing her duties, whatever they are until the parade on January 20th, and will be keeping a ‘diary’ for all’s enjoyment, of her days as Doo Dah Queen counting down to the parade… !!

Here are a few photos of the night of the crowning, or as Her Highness likes to think of it, the day that all of humanity was united under her glorious reign .

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.58.11 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.58.29 PM
Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.58.35 PM

Doo Dah Parade offers Passport to Weirdness at Post-holiday Celebration!

Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 – Doo Dah staff

WHAT: The 31st OCCASIONAL PASADENA DOO DAH PARADE celebrates the post-holiday season in its typically loud, irreverent style on SUNDAY, JANUARY 20TH, stepping off at 11:30am.. The twisted sister to Pasadena’s prim and proper Rose Parade will send up a woolly range of mischiefs, grounded superheroes, political pundits, homegrown satirists, art car inventors, and other bohemian frolickers.

HOW: Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping will make an official appearance at Doo Dah as this year’s controversial Grand Marshal. Since 1999, anti-consumerism guru Rev Billy has established a colorful reputation for his “retail interventions” at such commercial icons as Starbucks and Disneyland’s Main Street Parade (see

Two-time divorce’ Ellen Snortland will initiate her third attempt at marriage at Doo Dah by staging what she describes as “the mama of all wedding showers.” The Gruber-Snort Shower, as it is billed, will attempt to break the Guiness Book of World Records in public and, even, Ellen’s two ex’s have agreed to join the street party.

This year’s Doo Dah features more new entries than ever before. Led by Her Royal Majesty, Queen Naughty Mickie, participants include Howdy Krishna, Stupidiotic Evolution, Mystik Krewe d’Dieux Dah, Obama for Pres, Pope Roby the !st, Senor Groucho, Benzedrine Monks, Andy Baby for President, BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team, Zombies of Debt, Big Flying Carpet, LA Derby Dolls, Dead Robert Palmer Girls, Drunk in the Garage, Humboldt State Marching Lumberjacks, Soy Sisters, Raelian Religion, Roobie Breastnut, Warhol & Pal, Photo Ops & Broken Promises, Wicked Tinkers, Disco Drill Team, South Pasadena Sperm Donors, Radial Active Phlegm, Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin, Let’s Paint TV, The Tina’s, BooBoo Kitty Art Car, Boat Yota, Caeser’s Circus, High Crimes & Misdemeanors, The Beanpole, ZORG, Dr. Johnson, Spawn of Captain James Kirk, Advocating AAAAAAAA, Tequila Mockingbird, The Shirley’s, Fabulous Sons of Ed Wood, OC NORML, Horses on Astroturf, legendary Doo Dah House Band, Snotty Scotty & the Hankies AND MANY, MANY MORE!!!

WHENSUNDAY, JANUARY 20TH, stepping off at 11:30am.

WHEREOLD PASADENA historic retail and entertainment district.

Convenient parking is located in structures adjacent to the parade route. Metro Gold Line stops nearest to the Parade are Del Mar and Memorial Park stations. Lawn chairs encouraged!

COST: Absolutely free!! Bring a lawn chair!!

For public information call (626) 205-4029 or visit our event website at

“Measure ‘D’” Gadfly Wayne Lusvardi is Recipient Of the 8th Annual Thorny Rose!

Tuesday, 8 January, 2008 – Doo Dah staff

The 8th Order of the Thorny Rose has spoken. Wayne Lusvardi, Chairperson of “Citizens for Responsible Government,” and highly vociferous opponent of the proposed Measure D related to Utility Users’ Tax, has been awarded the latest edition of the Thorny Rose. The prickly honor is bestowed once-a-year on Pasadena’s most controversial citizen, by an anonymous committee of astute socio-political observers. Or as some would say, “Pasadena’s biggest pain-in-the-ass.”

The inaugural Thorny Rose was given in 2000 to Charles “Chuck” Cherniss, former salty columnist for the Pasadena Star News. Subsequent winners have included former City Councilperson and two-time recipient Paul Little, Roy Begley, Mary Dee Romney, the West Pasadena Residents Association, and last year’s awardee, the entire Pasadena Unified School District Board.

Lusvardi was a clear cut favorite among TR Selection Committee members, rising above perennial also-rans Rene Amy and Martin Truitt, both known for their critical exploits in front of the PUSD Board. This year’s short list also included the Falun Gong, who brought controversy to the Tournament of Roses for their inclusion of the Beijing Olympics float at this year’s ‘Other Parade’.

Lusvardi was given the dubious nod for his “pit bullish style” in opposing Measure D, which would amend the definition of “telephone” related to the Utility Users Tax. It will be decided by Pasadena voters on February 5th. The tax, which is applied to utilities including telephones, is levied by cities across the nation. However, Lusvardi insists the tax is illegal and that Measure D will force a tax on internet access. There is, however, a federal ban imposed on internet tax, extending for the next seven- year period, and the Pasadena City Council adopted an ordinance clarifying that internet access will not be subject to Utility Users Tax under measure D.

Lusvardi’s authorship of the official ballot rebuttal prompted the City to recently suit him in Superior Court. Ironically, Lusvardi was defended by frequent Thorny Rose contender Rene Amy, in his first court trial since passing the bar. Amy lost the case.

Mr. Lusvardi worked for twenty years with the Metropolitan Water District in SoCal and is now an independent real estate appraiser in Pasadena. In early fall, he editorialized in the conservative California Republic.Org newsletter (billed as “A Minority Report of Rational Opinion”) lambasting the Local 11 of the IBEW for their anti-discrimination lawsuit against the owners of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Some Thorny Rose Selection Committee members noted their honoree’s acerbic challenges as bordering on “conspiratorial theory” in tone.

As is the tradition for Thorny Rose winners, Mr. Lusvardi will given an invitation to receive his award and be driven along the route of this year’s 31st Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. Doo Dah takes place Sunday, January 20th, stepping off at 11:30am in Old Pasadena. If the awardee declines the offer a six-foot chicken will ride in his place. No Thorny Rose winner has ever passed on the invitation.

CONTACT: Patricia Hurley
Doo Dah Parade Organizer
(626) 590-1134

More Photos! Goodie Goodie!

Friday the 13th, October 2006 – Doo Dah Information Attache, courtesy of

The overly helpful folks in the Doo Dah photo department (oh, how we loathe those freebie-wheeling, non-commercial, tree hugging goodie goodies) have decided, against the better judgment of this department and dare we say the far more knowledgeable, wise, and good-looking organizers, to let you see a few photos from the archives of the hallowed halls of Doo. Dah. Day. We love and adore our archives, as any good information deity does. And we love to keep them locked down tightly to be used as “leverage” against those nere-do-wells who would stand in the way of our revolutionary Doo Dah process (vive la Doo Dah!). But alas, they seem to think that this is a good idea. Unfortunately, they apparently have some sort of leverage of their own, so we, the workers of the parade, the speakers of the proletariat, the voice of the common people of Doo Dah descent, have been overridden.

We will leave it thus, to you, the odd folk who would love to join our elite group of, well, beautiful crazies. We love the crazy ones. Its the so-called sane ones that you have to worry about. Not that we have anything against Roses.

And one more thing, to those freeloaders that we love to love: These photos are provided courtesy of Joe Messinger, and are copyrighted, so step carefully lest you stand in the midst of such places that you ought not. And we think we all know what we mean.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.39 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.59.44 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.28 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.13 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.18 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.23 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.04 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.00 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 2.59.50 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.50 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.55 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.02 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.45 PM
Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.00.34 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.11 PM

Dabney Zorthian

May 11, 2006 – Doo Dah has received news of the passing of one of our most treasured friends and sources of inspiration, Dabney Zorthian.

“Dabney Zorthian was a wonderful, creative spirit in her own right. And we know she’s bringing her zeal, independence and full heart to the angels above.” – Tom Coston, LBP

Dabney is, and will be, sorely missed. We express our sincerest condolences to her family, friends, and admirers.

This article that has been reprinted courtesy of the Pasadena Star-News. Photos have been added courtesy of LightBringer Project.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.16 PM

An artist to the end

Local Bohemian maven Dabney Zorthian dies at 75

By Molly R. Okeon Staff Writer, Pasadena Star News

ALTADENA – Dabney Zorthian, who went from a Hancock Park childhood to become a local legend of high bohemian culture, died Tuesday at the age of 75.

Her daughter, Alice, 42, said her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago and had fallen ill again in October. After many decades of presiding over the Zorthian Ranch high above Altadena, she died at The Scripps Home for seniors, where she’d moved several weeks ago.

Friends and family said that Zorthian’s illness, which she chose to treat with Tibetan herbs and other holistic methods, hadn’t slowed down what many describe as her intensely creative spirit.

Though long in the artistic shadow of her outgoing husband, the late painter Jirayr Zorthian, only last Sunday she read a poem she had written called “Limbs” in front of a crowd gathered at the Metro Gallery in Old Pasadena, where her photo exhibit of the same name was being displayed.

“People knew this was the last time we were going to see her in the gallery,” recalled Tom Coston, president of the Light Bringer Project, which runs the gallery. “Someone said to me that we should be so lucky as to approach our final days with as much grace and elegance as Dabney did.”

Sitting in her wheelchair and reading to the audience gathered Sunday, Coston said Zorthian was “in the moment.

“Dabney was wide-eyed, and boundaries in terms of creative boundaries were not an issue with her,” he said.

The Zorthians’ ranch in the Altadena foothills was a hub of bohemian culture in Southern California, Coston said.

Dabney Zorthian hosted an endless stream of visitors, including Caltech physicist Richard Feynman and many musical and artistic greats.

“It certainly describes an era that all of us crossed paths during, mainly up at the ranch,” Coston said, noting jazz legend Charlie Parker was among the revelers. “So many people feel part of the extended Zorthian family.”

Dabney von Briesen grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Marlborough School. She studied anthropology for two years at UCLA. After Dabney and Jirayr married in 1957, the couple started Zorthian’s Ranch for Children, which they ran together until 1981, according to son Alan, 47, an architect who lives in Highland Park.

Alice Zorthian, a teacher who lives in Taos, New Mexico, said she and her brother didn’t have what people would call “a `Leave it to Beaver’ childhood.

“It was very wild and wonderful at the same time,” she said. “I had all these amazing people around me all the time, from Nobel Prize winners to Playboy models.”

Until his death in 2004, Jirayr, known as Jerry, had wild birthday parties at the ranch each spring featuring dancing naked “nymphs”- mostly models for his paintings. Among the many other events that took place at the ranch were the Doo Dah Parade Queen tryouts.

The Doo Dah, a twisted cousin of the Rose Parade, is a celebration of the funky side of the area’s culture. To be crowned its queen, a contestant must prove her worthiness via unique and often bizarre talents.

“The Doo Dah Parade and the Zorthians had many places where they connected in terms of independent spirit and the willingness to let your hair down,” Coston said.

Alan Zorthian said the family hopes to build a residential development on the lower part of the ranch property in order to pay to keep the upper area alive for the arts community.

“I think it’s part of our cultural heritage, and I hope it can continue in that spirit to be somehow accessible and open for people,” he said.

Just before her death, Dabney Zorthian gave permission to let the Altadena Crest Trails Working Group cut a path through her property.

Zorthian is survived by her two children and three granddaughters. A memorial service will take place Sunday from 2 p.m to 6 p.m. at the ranch, 3990 N. Fair Oaks Ave.

(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4496

reprinted with permission

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.26 PM Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.32 PM

Cherie Flores wins the Doo Dah Royal Crown!!!!!

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.38 PM

November 13, 2005 –

A panel made up of Doo Dah queens and other parade officianados, including actor Fred Willard and novelty radio host Dr. Demento, gathered together at the fabled Zorthian ranch-site in the hills of Altadena to choose their queen. Selected from the largest assemblage of queen hopefuls ever was 23 year-old Cherie Flores, a poi dancer from Los Angeles who wowed the judges with her swirling fire dance and psychic knowledge of Doo Dah folklore. Crystal Lightner, of Pasadena, was voted runner-up by singing “Cabaret” and espousing the virtues of being “big and beautiful.”

Cherie, an attractive brunette born of Nicaraguan parents, is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University and is currently pursuing her love of theater and dance at local performing venues. “I never really thought I was going to win,” Cherie exclaimed after receiving the royal nod. “It was like nothing I’d ever seen! I was just happy to have been there and had so much fun!” Queen Cherie promises to bring creativity and positive energy to her reign and can be seen performing her fire dance in the Doo Dah Parade this Sunday. Cherie won the coveted title over such contenders as Count Smokula, Sir Pippi Poo-poo, Naughty Mickie and a Desperate Non-housewife, among other queen candidates.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.45 PM

This Sunday Queen Cherie leads the 29th Pasadena Doo Dah Parade which steps off at 11:30am on the streets of the Old Pasadena historic district. Cherie will be joined by popular crowd favorites like the 2005 Grand Marshals and 19-year veterans the BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team, Dread Zeppelin, The Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin, Men of Leisure and newcomer pundits like the Vegetables of Laguna Beach, Jumbo Starfish, and The Royal Pains through the streets of historic Old Pasadena.

Photo credits: Terry Miller and LBP

The 6th Annual Thorny Rose Awardee

The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade’s 2005 Thorny Rose Selection Committee, a highly confidential and eclectic panel of community observers, has given this year’s Thorny Rose to the West Pasadena Residents Association. The Thorny Rose is given annually to local citizenry who are identified for their painfully unwavering, salty and, usually, controversial style.

This is the first Thorny Rose bestowed upon an entire group of individuals.

Selection Committee members, in their research of candidates, didn’t have far to look. Over the course of a few years, the WPRA has gone from just another active and caring neighborhood association to assuming the role of hard-nosed lobbying machine and even “The Terminator” in respect to proposed development projects. Then came the NFL.

When City Council gave the go-ahead for staff to work with the NFL toward the potential of hosting professional football in Pasadena, and plans were eventually unveiled for a completely renovated stadium, the WPRA took off their gloves. Using the 3 M’s-money, methods and muscle-they let it be known in no uncertain terms that NFL supporters on Council would suffer political fire. Council backed off the plans. When a voter ballot was proposed, the WPRA filed a lawsuit to block the ballot initiative. The acronym NIMBY takes on new meaning in respect to these folks—It might as well stand for “Neighbors Intentionally Might Bust You.” The WPRA takes its place alongside two-time Thorny Rose winner and city council member Paul Little; Mary Dee Romney, school board gadfly; the late Roy Begley, whose focus was the light rail and jitneys; and the late Star-News columnist Chuck Cherniss, who regularly railed against big government.

According to Thorny Rose tradition, the WPRA President will be driven along the Parade route after publicly accepting the honor at the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade this Sunday. If the WPRA declines to accept the invitation, a suitable facsimile will ride along the parade route.

*UPDATE 11/13/05*

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.24.27 PM

What: The 2005 Pasadena Doo Dah Parade Queen Tryouts will take place Sunday, November 13th on a bohemian-inspired Altadena ranch site, accompanied by the majestic mayhem of Queen Mercy & the Royal Doo Dah Orchestra. Everyone interested is encouraged to try out!

Where: An eccentric, nerve-center of artistic flamboyance. Queen hopefuls please call us for more details!

When: The Queen tryouts have been rescheduled due to weather – The tryouts will be Sunday, November 13th. All hopefuls and judges should arrive at 3pm (same location).

How: It’s easy! Doo Dah Queen candidates can sign-up before-hand by calling (626) 440-1827. Individuals of all genders, ages, sizes, shapes, beliefs and persuasions are welcome to compete! And the best part is everyone gets to participate in the 2005 Doo Dah Royal Court on parade day!!

More Info: Media and royal queen entourages are all welcome to come enjoy the spectacle as queen aspirants of all types share their talents with Doo Dah’s official jury. Previous hopefuls have included Bridget the Midget, Zeke the Sheik, animals dressed as people, people dressed as animals, trailer park’ers, declined Rose Queen contenders, country western dudes, erotic saw players, the world’s biggest old lady, and even one candidate on Xerox paper. Perhaps, the most notable contender was a deceased woman presented to the panel in an urn by her elder widower. She was proclaimed Lily, Queen of the Hereafter.

Even More Info: Organizers staged the first public tryouts in 1998 at a Gothic house on stilts. This and other parodies of Pasadena’s ‘Other Parade’ have fueled Doo Dah’s colorful and controversial life on Colorado Boulevard. The 29th Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will be held on Sunday, November 20TH stepping off at 11:30am on the streets of historic Old Pasadena.

The Annual Thorny Rose Award

The Pasadena Doo Dah Parade’s Annual Thorny Rose selection committee is a highly confidential and eclectic panel of community observers. The Thorny Rose is given to a local resident who is identified for their painfully unwavering, usually controversial, public axe to bear.

Past Thorny Rose Awardees include the late Roy Begley, whose focus was the light rail and jitneys, Star News columnist, the late Chuck Cherniss, who regularly railed against big government, Ms. Mary Dee Romney, who shook a long pointy finger at schooltypes, and City Councilperson, Paul Little, for the last two years in a row. This year’s Thorny Rose winner is to be announced.

*UPDATE 11/08/05*
BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team will serve as Grand Marshals of the 29th Doo Dah Parade!

Celebrating their 19th year of participation in the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade, the BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team will lead the “Other Parade” down Colorado Boulevard as its’ 2005 Grand Marshals. The fired-up backyard ensemble has been a major crowd favorite at Doo Dah, grilling thousands of dogs over the years and, literally, feeding and rousing the spectators.

The Grill Men estimate that they have grilled, thrown, and eaten over 13,500 hot dogs since their first appearance. The year 2000 was especially productive for the BBQ Hibachi Marching Grill Team, when they attempted to cook and serve 2,000 hot dogs as they wound their way through Old Pasadena. And they did it- thanks to the efforts of people like Billy “Beer Batter” Brzykcy! Another Grill Team organizer, Jennifer “Big Squeeze” Schiller, explains, “We had to go through the parade twice to accomplish that impossible feat!”

The Grill Men are quite admired for celebrating one of the great American pastimes and for being so highly organized. In fact, they’re broken down into special units, including the Grill Men, themselves, Briquette and Condiment Girls, and Brautzooka’s. The launcher, which is something like a hot dog bazooka, is capable of hurling fully dressed and wrapped hot dogs into the crowd at mind-boggling heights and distances. And just to heat the party up, they add risqué chants and performing routines for extra laughs.

In their inaugural year of 1987, led by founders Scott “Forkhole” Coady and Eric “Oakwood” Walls, they worked out a battle plan, but some of their friends (later well-known Grill Men) decided to watch the Doo Dah Parade rather than face public humiliation. “Back then, we even had to pull people out of the crowd to hold our banner,” says Jennifer. But each year, she remembers, they called upon the “Divine Grilling Source,” and the Grill Team and their fan base grew exponentially. Now they even claim to have groupies!

Doo Dah Parade organizers are as proud as can be with their choice. “The BBQ Hibachi Marching Grill Team epitomizes the kind of organized chaos we value at Doo Dah,” comments event producer Tom Coston. “They, literally, have held a backyard party in our streets—with briquette-bag hats, soot-smeared faces, grass skirts, ugly shirts, swinging spatula’s and all!

Plus, we think the Brautzooka should be immediately patented. And how Americana can you get? Everyone needs a good dog now and then.”

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.01.56 PM

*UPDATE* 10/13/05 | Annual Pancake breakfast at the Senior Center

As they have faithfully done for years now, the wonderful folks at the Senior Center will be holding their annual pancake breakfast this year in fine Doo Dah fashion. As usual, the breakfast will be all-you-can-eat for $5.00.

Update: The pancake breakfast will be held at the Senior Center, which is on the corner of Holly and Raymond in Old Town Pasadena (where the parade actually begins).

The details:
Sunday, November 20th from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
All-you-can-eat pancakes, $5.00

The menu specials include:
ham, sausage or bacon, scrambled eggs, coffee, hot tea, and all the trimmings!

Dabney Zorthian, Grand Marshal of last year’s Doo Dah Parade!

Long-time Altadena resident Dabney Zorthian led the 2004 Pasadena Doo Dah Parade as it took to the streets of Old Pasadenalast year. The wife of recently deceased artist Jirayr Zorthian, Dabney has been an avid supporter of the arts and one of Pasadena’s most colorful personalities.

Dabney’s residence is the fabled Zorthian Ranch, an eccentric nerve-center of artistic flamboyance. The “Ranch” is brimming with the unique art and architecture of Jirayr Zorthian, deemed “last of the bohemians” in an L.A. Weekly cover story. Dabney will continue to nurture the creative life of the ranch, which was formerly a summer camp and hosted many local residents during their formative years.

Seen often at local cultural soirees, Dabney is an active member of the Pasadena Art Alliance and loves horses and equestrian activities. Upon being notified of her selection, she remarked, “I Love Doo Dah! And even though I am not usually in the limelight, I think it’s thrilling!”

Doo Dah organizers were equally thrilled. “Dabney is one of the most generous and gracious women in our midst,” says event producer Tom Coston. “Her creative spirit always shines and, more than anyone we can think of, she has made a work of art out of her very own life.” She will be among friends at Doo Dah and is certain to provide the “traditional” Zorthian flair.

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 3.02.08 PM