Cut loose for cash in comical, crazy parade

For most of us, 2012 was a tough year. So why not celebrate its end by poking fun of the recent past, take a twist on current events, turn the page on 2012 with a pun or just cut loose and maybe even win a little cash.

The Exeter Lions Club is bringing back the Doo Dah Parade this New Year’s Eve. Not sure what a Doo Dah Parade is? That’s because it can be whatever you want it to be. Doo Dah parades are a chance to come up with the most comical, creative and crazy parade entry ideas. The original Doo Dah Parade was held in 1978 as an alternate parade to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day. Because the City of Pasadena has a long-standing ordinance that prohibits the Tournament of Roses from holding a parade if New Years Day falls on a Sunday, a few friends in 1978 decided over several beers that they would hold their own parade with their own traditions – mainly no traditions at all.  Some of the most colorful entries in the Pasadena parade include the Synchronized Precision Marching Briefcase Drill Team; BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Lounge Lizards and the Invisible Marching Drill Team, etc. Doo Dah Parades are also held annual in Columbus, Ohio and Ocean City, NJ.

And thanks to Ben Weldon State Farm Insurance Agency, your crazy idea could earn you some serious cash. Weldon’s sponsorship of the parade allowed the Lions Club to offer $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place. Schools, churches, businesses, organizations and individuals are encouraged to enter a float. The Lions Club is hoping to finish registration for the parade by this Friday, Dec. 21. To register, go to Ben Weldon State Farm Insurance Agency, 151 S. E St., Suite B in Exeter. For more information, call the office at 559-592-2202.

After the parade downtown will be filled with lots of fun options including bounce houses, face painting, caricatures and balloon characters for the kids as well as R/C cars for kids of all ages.

For the adults there will be beer garden and wine bar from 6-11 p.m. and DJs playing music from 8-11 p.m. As you might expect from the Lions Club, there will also be a fireworks show at 9 p.m. Pacific Standard Time to celebrate the coming of the New Year on New York time, midnight Eastern Standard Time. Following fireworks is a “Dancing Under the Stars” contest to keep everyone warm and moving through midnight in Exeter.

About 10 restaurants will be open in the downtown area from 5-10 p.m. on Dec. 31. There will also be street vendors offering hot beverages throughout the evening. A 20-by-40 foot tent with space heaters and wood fire barrels will be available to keep warm. After midnight, the Lions Club is offering RV parking at Ben Weldon’s parking lot at the corner of Pine and Maple streets.

To register for RV parking, call Ben Weldon State Farm Insurance Agency at 559-592-2202.

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