Ruff Royality Take to the Street for Mardi Gras’s Krewe Parade
In 1993, as a barroom prank that stemmed from a meeting of the (local meteorologist)Margaret Orr fan club a canine-centered Mardi Gras ‘krewe’ was born. The organization, The Mystic Krewe of Barkus, is a non-profit group that advocates for animals and donates to various animal-welfare groups raised through fundraisers and donations throughout the year.
Each year, the Krewe’s furry paraders and their humans don their best Mardi Gras Masks and costumes and parade in a group that takes over the French Quarter! Presided over by dog-fan Orr since 1994, the parade has an annual theme, with this year’s being ‘Pirates of the Crescent City.’ No Mardi Gras Parade would be complete without a reigning King and Queen, and this year’s royal court leaders were King Maximillian and Queen Athena. Traditionally, the krewe’s king is a purebred, while the chosen queen was a rescue, and both are hailed throughout the Krewe.
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is the only Mardi Gras Krewe officially recognized as created for dogs in New Orleans, and members take their philanthropy (and good times!) seriously. While Mardi Gras season is their busiest, Krewe members work throughout the year to promote adoption and rescue of homeless animals in New Orleans, and member registration fees are donated to area animal groups, including the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
Because the Krewe of Barkus has grown in popularity through the years, the city of New Orleans has limited registration to 1500 participants each year, and Krewe members say they are thrilled that a group that started as a prank has now continued to raise funds for animals for over 25 years, and to have fun while they do it.
More by Lori Ennis