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Doo Dah right thing

Spoof parade that doesn't look like Tournament of Roses sparks a party atmosphere in Pasadena.

January 21, 2009|By Jason Wells

If the Rose Parade is about the meticulous use of flora, then its annual spoof equivalent is all about raucous partying — and it had hula dancers in fat suits to prove it.

For 32 years the Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena has presented an unapologetic alternative to its esteemed inspiration, the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. And so on Sunday, a man dressed in a hairy black gorilla costume playing the bagpipes and other odd sights were just par for the course.

“It’s kind of creepy, and it’s kind of fun — kind of like a weird dream,” parade watcher Cyndi McClain said. “That’s why you kind of have to have a few drinks in you, just to go with it.”

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And many people did, dancing in the streets as the Burbank-based Back to Disco Drill Team — in all its gold lamé, booty shorts and Afros — shuffled their way down the parade route.

“We never take it seriously,” club organizer Lisette St. Claire said.

Several parade entrants took that mantra to the outer limits, with each successive batch of marchers reveling in the cheekiness of their creations.

There was the “Flying Baby Street Racing” gang, with two plastic babies strapped into their respective strollers, one on each side, that “raced” each other on a pulley system.

Roman generals, half-naked baton twirlers, Darth Vader, Santa Claus, ballerinas, pirates, cowboys and a man dressed in a bunny suit riding a miniature motorbike all took their turns on the Colorado Boulevard route.

So did a group of dolled up Dachshunds, cigar-smoking loungers, Chinese human rights protesters and the Synchronized Baguette Brigade — a band of “French” bread-makers who used, yes, baguettes, as part of their dance routine.

Pillows were the prop of choice for the Synchronized Nap Team — a “growing army of men with nothing better to do,” according to their team leader, that took spontaneous naps on the pavement while moving down the parade route.

Organizers for the team couldn’t even give the total number of their membership.

“We say we have a newsletter, but we never get around to getting it out,” team leader Frank Rydberg said before the parade.

Glendale’s contingent had a particularly high profile at the parade this year.

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