Update: City Pulls Plug on “Reverse DooDah Parade”
Update: The City of Kalamazoo had decided there cannot be a DooDah Parade this year, due to concerns about Covid-19 and social distancing. More details to come.
Well, if you're craving a little normalcy, the DooDah Parade is probably not the first thing that would come to mind, but, it does represent a long time local tradition and with some tweaking, to accommodate this year like no other, get ready for the Reverse DooDah Parade to start the path back to (ab)normalcy.
As the organizers said: "We didn’t want to not “do” DooDah."
Here's the twist for 2020: The parade will be static, with entries lined up on one side of Lovell Street in downtown Kalamazoo. This Reverse DooDah parade event will begin at 11am on Saturday, August 15th. There's a surprisingly large amount of entries, with a few surprises planned.
Attendees will be allowed to enter in intervals, and walk(or bike) down Lovell Street and look at the parade entries. Yes, it's weird, but isn't that the spirit and essence of DooDah?
The event has this very different set-up to ensure that the Governor’s Executive Orders and CDC guidelines are followed, and that social distancing is effectively put into place. These guidelines require the wearing masks, limiting the event area to 100 people at a time, and social distancing.
How do you do that along a parade route? Exactly. So, organizers shortened the parade route, created entrance points, and created registration for every aspect of the parade.
First and foremost, there's the questions of safety. All participating in this event, both units and attendees, will be asked to take a short Health Questionnaire as they arrive. People coming to see the parade are asked to pre-register. They can register for 15 minute slots. People who walk will enter through Jasper and Walnut, and people who bike enter through Portage and Lovell. Everyone starts the parade route at Jasper and Lovell.
Again, here's the link to pre-register, to promote social distancing safety.
One more thing. The original plan, if things got back to normal early this summer, was to have Health Care Workers and First Responders be the Grand Marshalls of the parade. Obviously, the pandemic isn't going away, so we'll have entries on Lovell Street celebrating these heroes until a year we can again have a true parade of heroes.