It’s a fundamental law of the universe that any article of clothing becomes exponentially more adorable when worn by a dog. Sweater vests, party hats, Mardi Gras costumes…the list goes on.
For 17 years, the Krewe of Mutts has offered the chance to enjoy two of life’s most wonderful things — parades and puppies — in one setting. Join the city’s cutest dogs and their owners in downtown Baton Rouge on Sunday.
The parade starts at 2 p.m. at the corner of Fourth Street and North Boulevard. To register for contests or walk in the parade, visit caaws.org/parades.
The Krewe is more than just an excuse to dress up puppies and put them in pet-sized floats, however. It’s the most important fundraiser for the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society, which has dedicated itself to the well-being of the city’s animals for the last 36 years.
Parade coordinator Frank Parks said that the event has grown each year, necessitating a route change this year.
“This is a big event for the city,” Parks said. “A lot of people come out with their pets. A lot of people come out with their kids and have a good time.”
The theme this year is “Paw Wars —The Furs Unleashed,” so expect lots of Wookiee Whippets and Darth Vader Dachshunds. Cane II, the namesake for Raising Cane’s, serves as the parade’s Grand Marshal, and CAAWS rescues make up the royal line.
In addition to the fundraising of the parade itself, there will be a Bark in the Park area, open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., where pet owners can make donations and buy any supplies they need to keep their animals happy and healthy. Bark in the Park is located at North Boulevard at Towne Center and Galvez Plaza.
If you are usually the type to shy away from the rowdier side of Mardi Gras, have no fear. Parks said the event is family-friendly.
“We’ve had people trying to get us to sell alcohol, but we refuse,” he said. “We consider this a family event, and we do not encourage that. None of our vendors at Bark in the Park are involved with it either.”
In lieu of the drunken debauchery that often characterizes Mardi Gras, the Krewe of Mutts hosts a variety of contests on the Galvez Plaza Stage that will test the costuming and carpentry skills of the participants. Contests start at 11 a.m.
The contests include best costume, best float and best group theme.
“For Best Float, some people actually bring their own wagon and build a float around a theme with the dog riding in there,” Parks said.
Organizing an event like this may not be as impossible as herding cats, but it does require a lot of work. Parks said that the group relies on volunteers to keep the ball rolling.
“We’ve got a great group of people out there helping us manage the parade,” he said. “I love seeing all the dogs and the people. I’ll walk that parade route five or six times before the parade is over.”