Close your eyes for a second, and imagine if you will, a group of dressed up people marching down Michigan Avenue in downtown Kalamazoo on a beautiful sunny June day. This group would remind you of a Halloween or a costume party. And they'd make you laugh. That, my friends, is not the Twilight Zone. It's the DooDah Parade.

There is no DooDah Parade this year. But imagine if there was. How many acts in the parade would make fun of all the things surrounding the global shutdown. Yes, you are correct. There is nothing funny about a pandemic. Too many people have lost their lives. But we humans use humor to help us cope with unthinkable crises. And there are plenty of things in the past few months we could gently poke fun at. Think of a float rolling down the street showing parents attempting to home-school their kids, maybe with the kids doing the teaching of something like math. Or a parade of women with long beards. (Ok, that's a little weird, but that's also truly DooDah, no? Maybe another float, set up like a real-life Zoom call.

I just read where the Masked Singer was one of the most watched show this past TV season. Maybe get a local celeb in an outrageous costume and let people vote on who they think it is.

I've been lucky enough to have been in over twenty DooDah parades, and been the stage announcer for another dozen or so. The best part of being in the parade was always waving a people, seeing them laugh, that they "got" what we were parodying, and spotting friends at the parade calling out my name. As stage announcer, it was always cool to hang out with former Mayor Bobby Hopewell, who was always there to help out with judging the parade.

I miss Greekfest, too. I know how hard the (Theo and Stacy's) Skatsiaris family worked to make it an annual staple of Super Saturday. And I know, they could almost never catch a break on the weather. You could bet the mortgage there would be at least one day/night of either storms or snow or both during the three-day window. (Kind of like Roofsit.)

So there's no DooDah Parade this year, but I hope you, too, have some memories, or better yet, some laughs, you can remember from the past 39 parades.

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Kalamazoo DooDah Parade Memories


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