Sunday, November 16, 2014

Photo Essay: Pasadena Doo Dah Parade 2014

Pasadena is known for one big annual street spectacle on New Year's Day, the Rose Parade. But this November, there was another parade in Pasadena – one for the misfits, the rejects, the eccentrics, and the absurd.



This is Doo Dah.



It's like the evil twin of the Rose Parade...



...or a silly version of Burning Man.



You can imagine some of the same characters flock here and also to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval...



...like This Guy...



...but there's a special place in East Pasadena...



...in broad daylight...



...for people who don't have to explain what their costumes are...



...and don't have to be anything other than what they are.



Whatever that is.



There aren't floats, per se...



...but, like the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, there are plenty of cars and trucks...



...and a few local celebrities...



...like members of local rock band Radioactive Chicken Heads (who arrived with comedic accordionist Count Smokula)...



...and Crimebo the Clown!



Integral to the Doo Dah Parade is the group of spectators, who throw soft tortillas at the participants...



...who either scoop them up and throw them back...



...swat them away...



...or recoil in horror. Either way, it's a full-on food fight, with kids running into the street to recycle their thrown tortillas and toss them back into the air.



It's all a reminder that despite LA's enormous size and population, we are surrounded by small town culture, and plenty of community. The Doo Dah Parade may only happen occasionally (last year it was in April), but throughout the whole year, at various times and places, we misfits find other ways of getting together and belonging. They're not always obvious. You have to really look for them.

Related Posts:
The Island of Misfit Toy
Photo Essay: Rose Parade 2014 Floats, In Progress
Photo Essay: West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval 2014
Photo Essay: West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval 2013