During a season of near daily parades rolling day and night, it’s hard to stand out, but the Mystic Krewe of Barkus has one thing other parades don’t – dogs!!! The parade was M.C.’ed by local meteorologist, Margaret Orr, from the balcony of the Good Friends Bar. Turns out the Krewe was founded in that bar in 1992 at a meeting of the Margaret Orr fan club when someone brought a distracting dog and the other club members complained. The dog owner exacted his revenge by naming his dog Queen of her own parade.
This year’s theme was “A Broadway Tail” which brought on floats ranging from South Pacific to South Park. There were 2 versions of Wizard of Oz, one with a Cowardly Lion owner being pulled on a skateboard by his dog and another with the tornado as one of the characters. I loved the wigged dog from Hairspray and the rolling theatre of Hello Dolly!, but my favorite was probably Piddlers on the Roof. Bark Obama was fun too.
The royal court was formally announced at Good Friends Bar, which slowed things quite a bit at our vantage, but that parked The Roots of Music, my favorite young brass band, in front of us for over 10 minutes. All of the other music was provided by adult bands like the Treme Brass Band, Young PinStripe Brass Band and Riverside Ramblers and DancingMan504 revved up the crowd with his spectacular second line moves.
I wore my black and green petticoat for the first time in solidarity with the many petticoated pooches and their owners. I must admit that I’m now fully hooked on petticoat-wearing and will be actively looking for excuses to wear them. Guess it’s best my Hollywood award show attending days are behind me.
The King and Queen of Barkus had a lunch fit for royalty before the parade, lamb chops at Galatoire’s. Swanky Galatoire’s opened in 1905 and has remained a family business for 4 generations. Banjo and Fergie are rescue dogs who must’ve thought they’d died and gone to doggy heaven.
Several non-profits were represented during the parade. I’m not sure that Pitbulls for Peace qualifies as a charity but certainly the pets-with-cancer organization, Reidel & Cody Fund and Animal Rescue New Orleans do.
When the last pooch was wagoned into the sunset, the good people of SDT Waste and Debris came through to scrub the streets and pick up the parade leavings. SDT was the brainchild of Sidney Torres (of TLC’s Trashmen), a local real estate developer who saw the vast need for trash removal after Katrina and has since risen to the top of post-parade and festival waste removal. And because in the French Quarter, everyday is trash day, they provide that too. Out of towners look at the mountains of trash left after any parade and wonder how we’ll ever get the city clean again. Locals know that the street fleet will be through any moment and leave no trace.