Q&A with Deb Roberts, aka Mz. Doo Dah

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

What does the Doo Dah Parade mean to you? Being funny is key. People are laughing their butts off watching the parade. There are some groans, like, “Oh, I don’t agree with that,” or “Oh, that joke is so bad it shouldn’t be in there.” Not everybody gets everybody’s type of humor, but that’s the beauty of it. What’s your favorite kind of humor? I like irony. I absolutely love this photograph. He’s watching the parade—a black guy with a Confederate flag. That’s hilarious. That really is what the epitome of Doo Dah is about. The Doo Dah Parade watchers are just as nutty as some of the marchers in the parade.

Tell me about some of your favorite memories. You’ve got the Doo Dah band. These guys, they can’t play a lick of music on the instrument they’re playing. But if you put them on their real instrument, they’re professionals. Then you have the ever-lasting, never-dying Fidels. We’re like a bad version of “Saturday Night Live” without the camera. And then you’ve got the curling team. They go through the whole parade moving this curling ball. Nutty.

Are there any misconceptions about the parade? I think there’s a lot of people like, “What the hell is that supposed to be?” Fun. America has the freedom to be able to march in the street and say what you want to say. So, damn it, why not on the Fourth of July?

Little-known facts about Deb Roberts

Every year, Roberts scours thrift stores to find her gown and her husband's robe for the parade. She's worn the same tiara for about 10 years.

Led by Roberts, the DisOrganizers meet at the Short North Tavern, the official headquarters of the parade, Wednesday nights for beer, pizza and planning.