At Pasadena City Hall, the words "tortilla throwing" are hurled as an epithet around Doo Dah Parade time, like it's a no-tossing-cement-mixers-through-your-neighbors'-windows sort of a deal.
That's according to a new Pasadena city code, which makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, to throw objects at public events, to wit, tortillas.
But perhaps the city is missing the point of the 17th Doo Dah Parade this Sunday: When there is a point, it will be stomped on, like old, fallen petals from Rose Parade floats.
So, this year's parade offers the "Unofficial Outlaw Doo Dah Tortillas." No word yet on whether lawlessness will occur. Other groups will include the "Electro-Demolition Team," which will use sledgehammers to smash frustrating electric appliances; the "Glendale Galleria Shopping Bag Brigade," which will perform organized drills attacking sale racks, and "We're the Last Communists, Turn Out the Light," which will offer mock intercontinental ballistic missiles for sale at reduced prices.
And there'll be a chance for supporters of President Bush to take one last shot at the press when "The Moveable Press Box," a marching group of real reporters, marches past. "People are going to boo them," said Gary Hunt, KCOP-TV (Channel 13) co-producer of the parade broadcast.
Doo Dah Parade organizer Peter Apanel said he is considering plans to change the event's format to a festival-like gathering next year because the parade has become "prohibitively expensive" to put on.
"As it is, I'm kind of struggling," said Apanel, 41, a South Pasadena resident who runs the parade as his full-time job. "I can never get ahead."
Plus, he said, the crowds have gotten too big and too unruly.
About 40,000 spectators are expected to watch 125 groups in the parade, from noon to 2 p.m. New this year is Mondo Doo Dah, a post-parade concert from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Memorial Park, on Raymond Avenue and Holly Street. The parade will be be broadcast live on KCOP-TV from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will be rebroadcast from 8 to 10 p.m.