Krewe of Barkus unleashes Mardi Gras

Alex Calloway, Staff Reporter

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Mardi Gras season has finally arrived, and the atmosphere across New Orleans is electrifying. While historic krewes vie for space in schedules, one newer parade threatens to capture the hearts of Tulane students with its signature subject – man’s best friend.

The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is Mardi Gras’s most fur-ociously pet-friendly parade, where the dogs of the Crescent City reign supreme. Running since 1993, Barkus began as a way for Thomas McWood to honor his companion, JoJo. Owners, who are referred to as escorts, walk their prized pups along the parade route or hitch a ride in one of many member-constructed floats. Each year, the krewe follows a signature theme, complete with throws and fetching costumes. Combined with the uproarious crowds and enchanting melodies of Mardi Gras brass bands, Barkus emerges as a strong com-pet-itor for one of the must-see parades of the season.

This year, Barkus’ theme is “The Big Bark Theory: Barkus Goes to Comic-Con.” Members are expected to roll onto the streets of the French Quarter as a menagerie of old and new characters from books, comics, films and television shows. Leading the parade is King Stanley James Louis Preston Foxworth His Majesty XVII, a Shih Tzu/Boston Terrier mix that was rescued from the streets of New Orleans. Joining him is royalty such as Queen Bristol Mahana the French Bulldog, Grand Duke Nike, Grand Marshal Lolita and many more royal pups. The Krewe of Barkus offers something fur everyone, whether you’re a dog-lover, parade junkie or just looking for a fun weekend event.

The Krewe rolls Feb. 24 at 2 p.m., beginning at the intersection of North Rampart and St. Ann, by the corner of Louis Armstrong Park. From Tulane’s campus, getting to the bow-wow is a breeze, with streetcar, bus and car access. If you’re looking for a way to kick off your Mardi Gras with some much-needed adorable-ness, The Krewe of Barkus has got your back – and your tail.