Everyone knows about the mystery and magic behind Mardi Gras in New Orleans (or what we used to refer to it in the Midwest as “Fat Tuesday”), but what about Mardi Gras’ sister, canine-friendly bash? The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is Mardi Gras’ sole canine-exclusive krewe, the equivalent of Bacchus (for humans), and this February Lucky and I will travel to NoLa for all the canine festivities and spectacle marking the seventeenth annual Barkus. We couldn’t think of a more perfect place to let loose and shake our tails than in one of our favorite cities, New Orleans, surrounded by dog lovers from all across the country.
The Krewe of Barkus was founded as a non-profit group in 1992 during a fan club meeting for WDSU Chief Meteorologist Margaret Orr. Less than two years later, the group was granted rights to prance, parade, and pound pavement in the streets of the French Quarter in the Big Easy. Each year the group picks a theme for dogs to don themselves in their finest garments and hit the streets a week prior to the official Mardi Gras festivities. Past themes have included: Jurassic Bark, Lifestyles of the Bitch and Famous, Tails from the Crypt and Wizard of Pawz. This year the theme is The Dogs Go Barking In, which means Lucky will not be scolded for doing her favorite thing: yapping. And with an event this big, we expect a lot of yapping to take place. A canine King and Queen of Barkus are also selected annually, the Queen always being a rescue or adopted dog, with all proceeds of the spectacle donated to local animal shelters.
Following the footsteps of Bacchus (remember, the human Barkus) Celebrity Grand Marshalls such as Hulk Hogan, William Shatner, Tom Arnold, Larry King, Bob Hope, Steve Guttenberg and my all-time celebrity crush, Drew Carey, Lucky and I are honored to have been selected as Barkus 2010’s Celebrity Grand Marshalls. As Chairperson (and Chairdog) to Katrina Animal Memorial Project, we feel so blessed to be a part of another incredible fundraiser for the animals of New Orleans, who, as their memorial states, “will never be left behind again.” Joining us will be the unofficial mother of Barkus herself, Margaret Orr and a slew of over 400 Barkus members dressed to the nines. This year Barkus is held on the same weekend as Super Bowl XLIV, and with the New Orleans Saints facing against the Colts this year, expect the festivities to get extra dogrageous.
If you can’t make it to Barkus this year and still want to do your part to help the animals of New Orleans, donate to the Humane Society of Louisiana at HumaneLA.org. Or we’ll see you there so let the dogs bark in!
Special thanks to the Humane Society of Louisiana for truly helping the underdog!
We are sad to say goodbye to our beloved pet icon and the inspiration behind Animal Fair, Lucky Diamond who lost her battle with cancer. Grand Marshall of Barkus was one of the most memorable moments of her incredible life, click here.