The Ultimate Guide To the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade

Blog Header - The Ultimate Guide to the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade

Pasadena, California is a beautiful city. It has many attractions, traditions, and institutions to amuse and educate residents and visitors alike. However, very few events are quite like the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. Every year the streets fill with locals in crazy costumes for an all-out bash. Although it’s been held virtually due to COVID before, it’s right around the corner this year! Here’s a breakdown of the parade’s history and info on getting cheap car rentals in Pasadena.

Parade Origins

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If you had to single out one thing that makes Pasadena world famous, it would probably be the yearly Tournament of Roses Parade. The Rose Parade has a proud history that goes back to 1890. Every year on January 1st, millions of people worldwide tune in to watch its beautifully decorated floral parade floats cruise down Pasadena’s streets. In 1902, the Rose Bowl college football game was added to the festivities to help defray the cost of the parade.

The massive popularity of the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl turned a Pasadena tradition into an international occasion. Native Pasadenans still turn out in droves to watch the Rose Parade. However, they began to feel as though the parade belonged to the whole world, not them. Many locals wanted an alternative to the Rose Parade that more closely reflected Pasadena’s rich culture. This desire for a parade of their own spawned the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade.

How The Doo Dah Got Its Name

Most everyone calls it the Doo Dah Parade, but the official name of the event is the Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade. It’s also referred to as the Rose Parade’s twisted sister, and by many other charming, affectionate terms. While the parade organizers tout the fact that the Doo Dah Parade is an alternative to the Rose Parade, it’s certainly not “anti” anything. It’s a zany tribute to the offbeat culture in the area. It’s called the Doo Dah parade to accentuate it’s campy and bombastic nature.

Will There Be A Pasadena Doo Dah Parade in 2022?

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In 2020, officials decided to cancel the Doo Dah parade due to the increasing severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rose Parade was also cancelled in 2020, and both parades were cancelled again in 2021. Despite that, prospects for a Doo Dah Parade in 2022 are good. With cleaning and social distancing standards improving, events have become a regular part of life again for many. As of right now, there’s been no word saying the parade has been cancelled in 2022.

Other Things To Do In Pasadena

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If you’re planning on traveling to this year’s parade, why not check out some of the other things Pasadena has to offer. Getting around is easy if you get a rental car on arrival. You can find cheap car rentals in Pasadena by going through an independent rental agency in the area.


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With over 600 restaurants, the city is a playground for foodies. That’s more restaurants per capita than New York City and Los Angeles. With eateries ranging from burger joints to 5-star restaurants, Pasadena has something for everyone. There are many restaurants on the parade route as well, so you can get a bite to eat while you’re catching the show.

Outdoor Activities

On average, Pasadena has over 300 days of sunshine a year. This makes it an excellent spot for outdoor activities nearly year round. You can explore the beauty of the Southern California countryside on one of Pasadena’s many trails. There’s also a number of gardens and parks if you’re not the most outdoorsy.


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Pasadena is a hotbed for museums and other social institutions. The USC Pacific Asia Museum and the Pasadena Museum of History are excellent stops if you’re interested in the rich history of the area. Pasadena is also a hub for art and architecture lovers. The Norton Simon Museum and the Armory Center for the Arts are essential stops.

Looking for Cheap Car Rentals in Pasadena?

Value Rental Car offers clean and affordable rental cars for local driving in Los Angeles and Pasadena, with complimentary pickup and drop off service within seven miles of our two locations. If you’re a college student, we want to help you get on the road. We rent to drivers under the age of 21, and we offer cash and debit card car rentals. Check out some of our other articles to learn more about how car rental works!

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