Mardi Gras, a day of celebration with crowds, beads, colorful masks and DOGS!
by Laura Pakis, cynologist and professional dog blogger
Whether you think of plastic beads, Moon Pies, or the saying “let the good times roll”, there’s something important you need to know: Mardi Gras is going to the dogs.
There are events in cities across the US where dog owners can share a bit of the Carnival season with their pets. Most, like any other krewe, select a different parade theme each year, and all costumes and “floats” are adorned accordingly. There are even Kings and Queens selected for each krewe. But unlike most krewes, with these, you’re welcome to join in the parade with your dog.
These krewes for dogs offer a virtual gumbo of gaiety mixed with philanthropy. So plan to attend a parade and “laissez les bons temps rouler”. In addition to having fun, you’ll be doing a good deed for dogs and cats in need in the process.
History: For almost 20 years this Krewe has been doing more than buy dog treats for themselves. It’s one of the bigger fundraisers for the no-kill animal shelter, The Haven (that has been recognized for having one of the highest save rates in the state of Alabama).
Mystick Krewe of Salty Barkers
History: According to their webpage, in the fall of 2011, a group of animal-loving, fun-loving folks in the small coastal town of Apalachicola, Florida, decided to renew the old tradition of Mardi Gras. Proceeds from this krewe benefit the animals of Franklin County, Florida.
Mardi Gras dog Parade
Baytowne Wharf, FL
History: Not much history can be found about this Mardi Gras parade for dogs except that it is one of the premier canine events on the Emerald Coast.
History: The Krewe of Amalee raises funds and promotes initiatives to serve local charities.
History: Another new Mardi Gras is the Casselberry Mardi Gras Music Festival. The Muttley Krewe of Hounds, dressed in Mardi Gras regalia, starts off the parade.
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus
New Orleans, LA
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus began November 1992 at a meeting of the Margaret Orr fan club. The parade originated from a bar prank, as a member of the club came up with the idea for a canine-centered “krewe.” It took hold and the Krewe was granted official parading status by the city of New Orleans in 1994.
CAAWS Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade
Baton Rouge, LA
The Capital Area Animal Welfare Society’s largest fundraiser, Mystic Krewe of Mutts Parade, provides CAAWS the funds to fix hundreds of cats and dogs in the Baton Rouge community. They also have great souvenir tee shirts.
Krewe Des Chien
Established in 1998, Krewe des Chien has been fundraising and distributing funds to the many animal assistance organizations in the Acadiana area in need of financial support.
The Mystic Krewe of MARDI PAWS
Mardi Paws has been around for over 25 years. This Krewe is a trademarked fundraiser for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation & Scott’s Wish. Rather than throw beads, this Krewe tosses glittery piles of rubber poop. The color of the poop has meaning as well. Purple poops are tossed by previous members of the royal court, and gold poops are tossed by reigning monarchs.
Krewe of Barkloxi PAW-rade
Newer to the dog parade circuit, the Krewe of Barkloxi has been around for 4 years and includes a costume contest.
Purina Pet Parade
Saint Louis, MO
Promoted as the world’s largest costumed pet parade, festive canines can become members of the Court of the Mystical Krewe of Barkus and can attend the Coronation Pageant to witness the crowning of the King and Queen of Barkus. There’s even a Weiner Dog Derby after the parade!
Krewe of Barkus
This Krewe is at the “tail end” of the annual Huntsville Mardi Gras parade and worth watching man’s best friends decked out in their Mardi Gras best.
Krewe of Barkus
Patterned after the Mystic Krewe of Barkus in New Orleans, which was established to help abused and abandoned canines, Krewe of Barkus will feature a parade, vendor booths, interactive activities and more.
Krewe of Barkus and Meoux
The Galveston Island Humane Society began the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Parade in 1998 as a way to involve the community in the spirit of Mardi Gras and feature their family pets. It continues as a fundraiser for the homeless pets of our shelter and a much-anticipated event for the Island.
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