Here's an open invitation for you to join us next year
in Soulard for the parade!
For more info go to:

    Gwen Hetzer


Mardi Gras Krewe of Barkus
Sunday, February 7, 2010

Registration: 10:00-AM on
Parade begins around noon

Cost: Free, but suggested donation $10

Where: The parade takes place in the Soulard Market neighborhood in St. Louis. It begins at Menard between Allen and Russell. It takes about 40 minutes to complete walking the parade route.


We had a great time at the St. Louis Mardi Gras Krewe of Barkus Parade 2008!
Congratulations to Toddy LaMear, the reluctant bride, who made the front page of the "St. Louis Post Dispatch" newspaper. Her picture and story later appeared as the closing page in the June issue of Ladies Home Journal under the storyline HOW AMERICA LIVES. "She'll only be getting married once," promised Bonita Knickmeyer of Cedar Hill, when referring to "Toddy," who is owned by Knickmeyer's friend Shirley LaMear of Pacific. They participated in Sunday's eighth annual "Mystic Krewe of Barkus Pet Parade" in the Soulard neighborhood. "Thousands of garbed pets have their day in parade"* The annual event kicks off the area's Mardi Gras season and raises money for the Open Door Animal Shelter in Jefferson County.

While Fat Tuesday in St. Louis seems to get "fatter" by the year, Soulard's annual pet parade on Sunday offered a low-key, G-rated alternative to the debauchery expected next weekend.  Families mingled, and thousands of dogs sniffed each other. Aside from the latter, it was good clean fun.

Organizers of the Mystic Krewe of Barkus Pet Parade said they expected the attendance at the parade and subsequent Wiener Dog Derby to approach last year's estimated totals of 75,000 people and 5,000 pets. The event raises funds for Open Door Animal Shelter in Jefferson County, the St. Louis area's only shelter that does not destroy animals. Parade participants tossed beads and bacon-flavored snacks to the eager crowd of people and pets lining Ninth Street.

Slider, a 9-year-old lab and Brittany mix, sat along Ninth Street shivering. "He's not cold, he just does that when he's scared", Mike Olson said. A moment later, Slider turned up his nose at one of the bacon-flavored treats. "I don't think he likes the pet parade very much." Strangers walking the parade route stopped to chat when their dogs sniffed each other. There was Harley, a Doberman-boxer mix so named because he looked "tough - like a biker", said owner Stefanie Smith, of Kirkwood.

There was Heisman, a Great Dane, so named because of his statuesque stoicism, like that of the trophy awarded to college football's best player each year. And there was Jenna, a Rottweiller-lab mix whose owner thought the name sounded pretty.  Without the massive crowds that come to the Grand Parade, Sunday's simple event seemed more like Mardi Gras used to be in St. Louis, said Stacy Golladay, of Kirkwood. "It's good clean fun", she said. "You just have to watch where you step."

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