You have three minutes to convince a panel of judges that you are made of royal stuff, that your talents are boundless, or at least your talents inspire onlookers to say "what the heck?," and that you alone should stand as the regal representative for the esteemed event the panel somberly represents.
Do you: Strum a banjo while operating a fidget spinner with your free hand?
Recite the full recipe, with measurements and temperatures included, for Beef Bourguignon, while tap dancing?
Or do you stand serenely while balancing the aforementioned banjo on your head, and the fidget spinner on top of that?
To say "the sky's the limit" when it comes to the Doo Dah Parade Queen Tryouts, an annual Pasadena rite of passage for many of the Crown City's quirkier souls, is to discount that there's a whole universe beyond what we think of as the sky's end.
And it is from the stranger cosmos that many returning contestants draw their three-minute routine, and their zazzy costumes, for the annual audition.
The Saturday, Oct. 21 showdown, a happening that's very merry, and not at all serious, will see a batch of hopefuls doing their best to vie for the crown. It's a crown that's open to everyone to go for, which is keeping with the Doo Dah's famously wide-of-heart, generous-of-spirit, all-are-welcome, forever-egalitarian outlook.
The parade, which is marking 40 years of irreverent high jinks on Sunday, Nov. 19, only has one rule: the Doo Dah rules. Well, and don't throw marshmallows, and other gummy foodstuffs into the crowd, which should pretty much be a standard edict with all public processions.
Anyone can join the parade, with any theme or costume, and the entry price of ten bucks has remained the same for years and years and some more years beyond that.
Which brings us back to the important choosing of the Doo Dah's highest honor, the selecting of the one who'll wear the sparkly, pointy hat encrusted with jewels, or twinkly lights, or maybe marbles: A queen must be chosen, and will be, with pomp and playful pomposity, at the American Legion Bar in Pasadena, on Saturday, Oct. 21.
So break out those banjos and roller skates, aspiring royals of SoCal, and find your inner queen.