Today was the 28th Annual Doo Dah Parade, right through my neighborhood. As best described by the Short North Gazette:
"The first Doo Dah Parade was July 4th (rain date July 3rd) in the year of our Emperor 1984. It was slated to start at one o'clock from Goodale Park - then to meander through the neighborhood, through the drive-thru at White Castle, down High Street and back to the park. The UnOrganizers of the Parade were nervous; it was 12:30 and only a handful of participants had arrived. All that money spent on beer and security and two color posters - all for naught. But wait! Over the crest of the hill, a flash of light reflects off a tiara. A kazoo rings through the still summer air. Huzzah, they have come! Quick, before they change their minds, the parade takes off! Oh, but look at the time! It is only 12:40! Since the parade proves to be only twenty minutes long, those who arrive on time to witness this wondrous event missed it. A fitting start for a homage to the absurd and the silly and puncturer of the pompous and punctual.
Thus, in 1984, a year that also saw the beginnings of the Gallery Hop, the Doo Dah Parade was born. We did not originate the name or the concept, but we did make it our own. And kept it our own. We (actually Andrew Klein, attorney at law and tax preparer 614-299-6139) had the incredible foresight to register the Doo Dah name. So when Upper Arlington, a humorless realm of green front lawns, decided to usurp our fairly stolen concept and name - we sued 'em. Then the Emperor commanded and we obeyed and invaded and conquered 'em just in time for the 6 o'clock news - much to their chagrin and befuddlement.
The Parade has its roots in the deep need of every neighborhood to parade itself. It helps if you own a fire engine, because then you are halfway there already. Do it on the Fourth of July, throw in a few cute kids, their dogs and bikes, make everything red, white and blue and you have got it. Good, but could be better &endash; what about all those people who inhabit the deep dark drinking dens; wouldn't it be a hoot if they were coaxed out into the daylight at high noon, blinking, their pallid skin blindingly white, turning quickly to deepest red (which of course makes them blue). And all those people with an opinion about everything, and all those people who deep down just wantto be noticed, and all those people who like to watch all of the above. And its all free as in freedom, as in come on down and feel free to join in, join up. Past years have treated us to the Beer Belly Brigade, Marching Fidels and Flamingos, men in tights, transvestites, kazoos, a tuba, lawn mowers, golf carts, political satire, bad taste, red, white and blue dogs, weird bicycles, Gandhi on roller skates, the Pope and a potbellied pig, in case you are looking to steal some inspiration."
The National Association for the Advancement of Colorful Old Hippies
Transportation Security Administration - lots of groping
The Marching Fidels
The Tea Party - Mad as hatters!
That Car club
The Columbus Italian American Club - going for try number two this year at the worlds largest meatball.