What Is the Columbus Doo Dah Parade?

by Jessica Ring

The Doo Dah Parade is a popular theatrical and flamboyant parade held yearly in Columbus, Ohio. Beginning in Pasadena, the Doo Dah Parade has since spread to Columbus and Ocean City, New Jersey. The parade uses humor to highlight the importance of the First Amendment. The Doo Dah Parade is held on July 4 and participation is free.


The first Doo Dah Parade was held in Pasadena, California. It was create in 1978 by a group of friends as an alternative to the popular Pasadena Rose Parade. The first parade was held on January 1 and was full of irreverent acts such as General Hershey Bar and The Briefcase Drill Team. The Doo Dah Parade grew in popularity and participants. Reader's Digest even named the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade "America's Best Parade."

What Is It?

Similar to its Pasadena counterpart, the Columbus Doo Dah Parade is difficult to define. The parade focuses on satire, humor and light-hearted silliness. Costumes range from mimes to Elvis Presley and participants decorate cars and floats. The Columbus Doo Dah Parade also features live entertainment from local bands. Doo Dah judges hand out awards for parade participants in categories like "Worst in Show" and "Best Signage."


Despite its humorous nature, there are some rules for participation in the Doo Dah Parade. Attending politicians must wear a funny hat. There are no water guns or water balloons allowed. Also on the "banned" list is nudity and commercial advertising. If you are participating in the parade, do not attempt to pass the entry in front of you.


The parade begins every July 4 at noon. The parade route varies from year to year, but usually involves the area between Park Street and and Buttles Avenue. Check the official Doo Dah Parade website for available parking spots. Participation and attendance is free.

About the Author

Jessica Ring began writing and editing professionally in 2006 for "The Voice," her university's collegiate newspaper. She is a certified English teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and English literature. She is currently in the process of obtaining her master's degree in education.