Like many great ideas in New Orleans, Mystic Krewe of Barkus started in a bar. The parade helps raise funds and awareness for dog adoption and other animal services and the weather couldn’t have been better for canine Carnival. Like many parades, the people in the crowd dress up as well and this is one parade where your dogs are welcome. As always, WDSU’s Margaret Orr presided over the festivities from the balcony of Good Friends where it all started. Her genuine affection for the dogs and respect for those who help animals is infectious.
This year’s theme was “From the Dog House to the White House.” There were many creative takes on the topic and lots of silly wigs. Gris Gris Strut, Riverside Ramblers, Treme Brass Band and others added music and dance to the absurd and adorable party. There were plenty of small dogs but there were also Search and Rescue dogs and Sheriff’s Department dogs as well as a giant dog convincingly done-up like a lion in a cage. I think my favorite was the tutti-fruity-colored tie-dye poodle (pictured below).
I was thrilled to find director Steven Esteb and his wife next to me for the parade. He and I worked together on Hate Crime, a family drama about the power of fear and shame. John Schneider, who I first met through a parade, played my husband and has directed me in 2 movies since.
After the parade, we carried a box of King Cake-inspired donuts and a historically traditional King Cake, both from Winks, to a King Cake party. They’re all the rage now, especially after Elizabeth Zibilich’s photo of Christine Miller’s King Cake Party went viral and became a news story declaring, “Yes, it’s a thing.” Miller, of Two Chicks Walking Tours, has studied and appreciates the history of this city. Part potluck and part taste test, she started her annual gathering to bring together cakes from all over the city so she and her friends could have all of their favorites and try new ones all in one evening. And yes, it’s a thing now. I received 3 invitations in one week.
We arrived so late from the parade that many of the cakes were pretty well sampled but I did manage a photo of the variety. It was obvious people took the task very seriously. Favorites from Manny Randazzo and Dong Phuong were there as well as a vegan offering, a fruit-stuffed variety and many other creative takes. There was plenty of gumbo and fried chicken for the people spilling out onto the balmy patio. It was a pretty perfect end to another wonderful day of Carnival. Then back to work. But only until Wednesday when Krewes of Druids and Nyx roll.