Jennipha-Lauren Nielsen, aka Queen Classy and Sassy, has been chosen as queen of this year’s Doo Dah Parade.
Sunday’s queen tryouts at the VFW bar on North Vinedo Avenue featured two live bands, lots of drinking and a command performance by last year’s monarch, Queen Imani. Several other former queens, including, Naughty Mickie, Tequila Mockingbird, Queen Susann Edmonds and Queen Veronika MeowMeow were in attendance.
Nielsen said she entered the contest as a way to have fun amidst the crazy politics that have been dividing the nation.
“So many folks are battling burnout mentally and emotionally with the news and politics these days. It’s become even more important than ever to cut loose, be free and laugh,” she said.
Nielsen is co-founder and CEO of the One World Project, a community-based initiative focused on providing programs and advocacy to address global problems. Nielsen was also student body president at Cal State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), and student representative for the CSULA Foundation.
Known as the twisted sister of the more conventional and staid Rose Parade, the Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade began as a grassroots event on Sunday Jan. 1 1978.
Since there was no parade that year due to the Tournament of Roses rule of not holding the parade on a Sunday, a group of friends at a local bar decided to do a parody of the parade.
The result has become a Pasadena tradition known nationally for its eccentric and often irreverent satire.
The Doo Dah Parade, which has spawned numerous off-beat spinoffs around the country, was highlighted in last year’s Wall Street Journal. It was also named by Readers Digest as “America’s Best Parade,” and was recently featured in the book “50 Places You Must Visit Before You Die.”
“The Doo Dah is where the people of Pasadena are,” said Nielsen. “It’s Pasadena’s wildly fun hometown parade. The Rose Parade brought to you by, insert current corporate sponsor, is a magnificent production. But I am not emotionally tied to it any more than the teams playing in the Rose Bowl.”
The 41st Occasional Pasadena Doo Dah Parade will be held at 11 .m. Sunday, Nov. 18, stepping off on Colorado Boulevard between Sierra Madre and San Gabriel boulevards.
To enter the parade, visit pasadenadoodahparade.info for an entry form. Call (626) 590-7596 for more information.