New Orleans is a special place where even the dogs are celebrated and get their own parade through the French Quarter. The Mystic Krewe of Barkus was created in 1992 at a meeting of the Margaret Orr Fan Club held at Good Friends Bar. Thomas Wood brought his dog “Jo Jo McWood,” but people complained about the dog’s neurotic ways while in the meeting. Thomas decided to make Jo Jo McWood the Queen of her own parade and captain-for-life, as a way to get back at them. Thus, the Krewe of Barkus was born.
Sunday was my first experience with the Krewe of Barkus. I usually choose to spend my first Mardi Gras weekend on the Uptown parade route but I had seen so many adorable puppy photos from past years that I had to check it out. Rain threatened the parade in the morning but the skies cleared for the parade to line up and hit the quarter to a packed crowd that lined the route leaving Armstrong Park all the way to the end on Dauphine. Overcast skies provided the perfect weather for the pups to roll and stay cool.
It is not every day where you see human and animal spectators line the streets to see dogs in their favorite festive costumes. A highlight for parade attendees was also seeing Her Majesty XVIII, Queen Belle Hebert, a red standard poodle and King Edward VII Bloomenstiel, a longhaired Chihuahua. Krewe Ella de Vil was also out trying to lure dogs with treats into their nets!