The Krewe Mardi Paws parade, held along the Mandeville Lakefront on February 22, was a big hit despite the weather.
This awesome doggie parade almost didn’t happen.
Weather forecasts predicted a downpour on the date.
But instead of a wet Sunday, Mr. Sunshine and high humidity graced the event.
In an attempt to beat Mother Nature, the pooches began strutting their stuff at 1:30 p.m. instead of 2:00 p.m. The change proved unnecessary and there was no rain to ruin the event after all!
This year, the Mardi Paws Celebrity Monarch was country singer Jamie Lynn Spears,the sister of pop star Britney Spears.
Spears attended the event with her family and their 2 ½-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever named “Nice.”
The unexpected weather had pooches panting, but organizers had prepared large water bowls situated along the parade’s route.
The dog-filled parade was, indeed filled with well-dressed pooches. This year’s theme was: Mardi Paws Takes a Road Trip. Many costumes and floats depicted travel-related themes. A tiny dog rode in a crawfish boil pot while another was dressed as Marty McFly from “Back to the Future.” There was also an Elsa float from Disney’s “Frozen”.
Patrick Ford takes the parade quite seriously. This was his third year participating in Mardi Paws.
“Of course, no trip would be complete without going to the ‘Superbone’ stadium in New Orleans,” said Ford. “It took us two weeks, and one night of planning.”
“We cheated on the Statue of Liberty, it’s actually a baby doll under there, so we papier-mached a baby doll,” he adds.
Donning a pretty yellow dress, Ford’s dog looked really elegant. “It’s so much fun,” he said, of why he and his group devoted so much time to Mardi Paws. “We enjoy it.”
As the last batch of doggies charm the spectators, Mardi Paws captain Denise Gutnisky had a smile on her face. She was “really surprised” at the turnout despite the weather predictions that indicated an 80 percent chance of afternoon rain.
“We only had 40 people pre-registered, and now we have hundreds,” she said about the four-legged krewe members who were signed up at the last minute. “We probably have more dogs this year than we’ve ever had, so it was very exciting.”
Approximately two hours after the parade ended, the skies started to darken but it’s alright since most doggie participants were probably already inside their homes –happy and fulfilled after a day of fun and doggie glamour.
Image source: The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws/Facebook