How the Doo Dah Parade Started, by Steve Wilkin
In 1993 I had the privlege as serving as Neewollah Generalissimo. We were looking at revenue items and thought that between the carnival opening on Wednesday and the Kiddie Parade on Friday, there was a pretty big hole on Thursday nights. At our Neewollah evaluation meeting the prior December, somebody made the comment that there were too many adults in the Kiddie Parade. I shot off my big mouth and said, "Well maybe we need to have a parade for the adults". I don't know why I remembered that but it was from that wisecrack that I decided to take a chance on Thursday night. I had seen in the newspaper that a parade had been formed called the Doo Dah parade in Southern California. I figured if you're going to steal...steal from the best. It was also taken from the signature line of Stephen Foster's immortal song, "The Camptown Ladies". Anyway I thought it was pretty funny. We formed a Doo Dah parade committee and we were off and running. We decided there would be no rules and anybody could do anything they wanted. Because of that we had no idea who was going to show up. That Thursday night my wife and I were driving to the parade and I saw a huge crowd forming for the first Doo Dah parade. I was afraid there would be nobody in front of Memorial Hall to walk down the street with me. But then one group showed up. And another group. And another and another. The first year I asked Jerry and Gwen Webb to be King and Queen Doo Dah. They rode down the street on a float adorned with toilet seats. Now its an annual event. I have participated in some form of it every year. Usually with the current board of directors. Its about 20 minutes of your life that you'll never get back. But it costs nothing and it makes people laugh. A lot of people. Reason enough to keep it going.