Kriss Fairbairn of WDSU Channel 6 and her 5 year-old Maltese, Rocket, return as our 2008 Celebrity Grand Marshals. In fact, they have been given a permanent crown for their enthusiastic support of the parade and non-profit! Kriss and Rocket will be escorted by Kriss' husband and son, Johnny and Nicholas Fortunato. You know Rocket's dad Col. John Fortunato as the spokesman and familiar face of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. Rocket's favorite things in the world are: his toy duck, teddy bear, and squirrel. He loves long walks in the neighborhood, joining the family for a swim in the pool on his favorite raft, and showing off his tricks for yummy snacks! And, don't let his cute little button nose fool you - he's a fluffy white ball of pure guard dog!
Celebrity Mascot, Hugo the Hornet, will leave his nest at the New Orleans Arena and delight parade-goers with his acrobatic antics! When not wooing the crowds at a Hornets NBA game, he enjoys spending time flying around to visit different schools, hospitals, parties and anyone in need of encouragement and a smile. He is a big supporter of all the New Orleans Hornets community efforts like Read to Achieve and the Hornets Caravan. Hugo's hobbies include: Bungee jumping, skydiving, playing basketball (of course!), roller blading, race car driving, flying and dancing. Hugo has accomplished quite a bit during his illustrious career including being the *Three-time winner of the NBA Mascot Slam Dunk Championship. Hugo will be accompanied by The Stingers junior hip-hop dance team and the Hornets drum line.
His Royal Highness King Bugsy is a 13 year old pug who is an Olympic sofa ornament. His special talents are snuggling so close to humans that he is sometimes mistaken as a growth on their body and offering unlimited kisses and devotion. He practices the worried look while his parents are at work, so they may shower him with yummy treats when they return home. He is deeply adored by his parents Dr. Ashley Geoghegan and Dr. Shaun Carpenter, his 2 legged siblings Aidan and Deke, and a plethora of furred and feathered siblings who share his sofa.
Her Royal Highness Queen Tinkerbell is a 2 year old Yorkshire Terrier. She was born on March 8, 2006 in Destrehan and has lived in Mandeville since she was 7 weeks old. Her parents, Pam and Donny Garrison, fell in love with her at first sight! She is an only child so she may be a little spoiled! Tinkerbell (also answers to "Tinkie") loves to chase lizards & squirrels, wrestling with her dad, playing chase and going for rides. You may have seen her around town shopping! Now that is a rough life. Her favorite color is pink, and her favorite foods are chicken, duck jerky, liver jerky and carrots! She loves to play rough and let the real terrier come out! She will be escorted by her mom, Pam Garrison and her neighborhood friend, Thomas Martino.
Sparky “D” Grand Duke of da Perrade, is a 10 yr old German Shephard mix. He is employed as the mascot at Automotive Air, the Mandeville business his parents Dale & Nancy Phillips own. There are dawgs and there are dogs. Sparky is a special hound….found nearly dead on the side of the road after begin struck by a car many years ago…he knows how to howl the blues. He’s had a number of hits as he regained his health and is proud to be chosen as Grand Duke. Oh yeah, he earned his name “Sparky” because, not only can he croon with the best of them (eat your heartworm out Snoop Doggy Dog), he can change your spark plugs too. Parade escorts will also include the Phillip's grandsons, Blaine Phillips and Belin Manalle. Long live Sparky!
Two year old Duke Joey, a blue and gold Yorkie is excited to participate in his second Mardi Paws Parade. He has climbed up one rung on the social ladder, stepping up from his title of Page to his majesty last year. Joey will be escorted by his bride "Phoebe" and their 8 month old daughter "Mia Isabella", and his Mom Charlene Imbraguglio. His pal JD Johnson will also be in attendance with his Mom Jan. Joey loves browsing and walking in the woods, tearing up his stuffed animals and snuggling under the covers at night. His favorite treat is animal crackers.
Page to his majesty Viscount Monty LaMouche Lazaro, Monty to his family and friends, is a four year old standard poodle currently living by City Park. He lives for his daily walks during which he gets to run into his neighborhood friends, and play with the staff and patrons of Ralph's on the Park. As a one year old puppy, Angela Hill, one of his favorite TV anchors, featured Monty in a special report on the growing popularity of Doggie Day Cares across the city. Now that's he's grown, he spends most of his time relaxing and goes on frequent play dates around town with his closest friends and his beloved half sister, Lady Isabella. Monty will be escorted by his mom, Belinda Lazaro, for his Mardi Paws debut!
Lady in Waiting, Sandie is a 3 year old yellow Labrador Retriever. She resides in Slidell, Louisiana with her parents Kelly and Brian Macaluso. Sandie's pastimes are swimming, getting the newspaper, going for long walks, and playing with her black lab cousins, Mollie and Belle. She loves all her toys especially her balls and frisbees. Sandie looks forward to Mardi Paws every year. This year is her first year as a Royal Hair! Sandie's mom, Kelly is an agent with RE/MAX. Sandie says, "Don't forget to buy a WROOF from her mom!"
Maid Jewel is a very special hairless 1 yr old Chinese Crested, but a true north shore girl. Born on Christmas day, and delivered by Mom, Janice Sayles, also a Chinese Crested Breeder. Jewel is currently in training for the show ring, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of her mom LucyLu who has won ribbons for best in breed. Her favorite activities include dressing up, cuddling, playing with her toys and shredding up bathroom tissue because its so much fun. She shares her home with her doggie family Frodo , Ziggy ,Spike and Rosie. She will be escorted at the parade with her 2 legged mom and sisters Janice & Jaky Sayles
Scepter bearer to her majesty Corky is a "Cojack" - no, she's not a bald, lollipop-eating detective but rather a cross between a Corgi and a Jack Russell Terrier. Since her rescue from the pound in October, she has given her basset hound siblings (a.k.a. former Mardi Paws Maid Trixie and Duke Samson) a new leash on life. Rather than their old regimen of waking up primarily to eat, she has revitalized the lazy hounds with lively games of chase and championship wrestling. While her prognosis is hopeful, owners Ricky and Jan Windhorst are still working on some self esteem issues as Corky doesn't understand why her ears do not reach the ground nor why she can only squeak while her siblings produce opera-quality howls. Corky is graduated from the prestigious Fido Finishing School with Wagga Cum Laude honors. Her favorite pastimes include playing patty cake; listening to Four Unplugged practice; and watching her favorite movie, Underdog!