The first Doo Dah Parade was held in 1978 in Pasadena, California, and it soon gave birth to wacky versions in several other U.S. cities.

The first Doo Dah Parade was held in 1978 in Pasadena, California, and it soon gave birth to wacky versions in several other U.S. cities.

Columbus has the best. Why do I say that? Because it's Doo Dah weekend, and I can say whatever I want. So ha!

Here are five reasons to attend this celebration of flamboyance, frivolity and fun.

5. Politicians in funny hats

You'll probably see some state reps and city officials posing as regular people who just want to take part in America's fun-loving spirit. Most will be wearing their everyman outfits of khakis and polo shirts, but all politicians and their entourages must don something crazy on their domes.

Lesley James, the awesome CD101 jock who's the grand marshal this year, does not.

4. The Marching Fidels

The aging Cuban communist is no longer a real threat to the United States, yet that's no reason to stop lampooning him. A group of marchers dressed like Fidel Castro - long black beards and green fatigues - takes naps in the street and conscripts people into the Cuban army. Viva la revolucion!

3. A beloved purpose

Doo Dah's main mission is to encourage people to exercise their right to free speech. It's a message everyone can get behind and then rally around with a ridiculous costume. Pretty much everything goes, except you can't deploy water guns or balloons or march fully nude.

2. Minimal red tape

These days, it seems like anything fun requires waivers, permission slips and filling out forms in triplicate. Not so in this annual shindig. Participants don't need to register in advance or pay an entrance fee. If you want to join in, just line up at noon on Park Street between West Goodale Street and Buttles Avenue.

1. Great street party

The AfterGlow party combines food, fun and live music from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Buttles Avenue and North High Street. Everything's free - except the beer and food.