Last week kicked-off the 2019 Carnival season. Although many humans adore Mardi Gras and talk about it all year, most parades are not safe, fun, or even legal for those of us of the four-legged furry persuasion. The huge crowds, wailing sirens and blaring marching bands can be downright terrifying! Plus, there’s always the potential of getting pelted with beads and other throws and getting lost in throngs of humans. Believe it or not, some parade-watchers are not pet-friendly, are more than likely intoxicated, and/or could have small children who are fearful of us animals. Even if we family pets aren’t normally biters, when thrust into an overwhelming environment like Carnival, we might just become ones.
What’s more, Blanche and I always read Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide, which clearly, if not somewhat rudely states that dogs are not allowed at Mardi Gras parades. Period. New Orleans Ordinance 17271 MCS 18-14 section (e) states "no dogs are allowed within 200 yards of any parade route one hour before, during, or one hour after a scheduled parade."
There are plenty of good pawties along the parade route, just be sure to make secure space for us in a room behind closed doors, or consider doggy boarding or a trip to some relatives in quieter neighborhoods. Remember, while YOU may be conscious and aware of where your fur babies are being kept, drunken guests may not be as cautious.
All that being said, some parades DO cater specifically to your furry friends. These include:
- Krewe de Paws hits the streets of Olde Towne Slidell at 10 a.m. Saturday February 23. http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule/parade-info/parades-paws.html
- The Mystic Krewe of Barkus being held at 2 p.m. Sunday Feb. 24 in the French Quarter. https://www.barkus.org/
- The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws parade takes place after Mardi Gras in Mandeville, at 2 p.m. on March 10. http://www.mardipaws.com/
Pet-friendly parades generally do not have marching bands and are lower-key than traditional Mardi Gras parades. Still, try to exercise your best judgment on whether we’ll feel comfortable at such events.
Peace & Paws,