©1994-2019 MARDI PAWS  is a registered trademark and may not be used without permission.


Beloved Northshore Mardi Gras Parade for Dogs Finds a New Home

Covington, Louisiana (December 3, 2019) – Proving that you CAN indeed teach an old dog new tricks, the Krewe of Mardi Paws is pleased to announce that after 25 years of celebrating Mardi Gras in the town of Mandeville, Louisiana, in 2020 this unique parade for dogs and their people will move about 10 miles north, to the neighboring town of Covington. The parade will roll at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 1.

The 2020 parade has been the topic of much local conversation and even some news stories, with rumors circulating that it might not take place at all. Keeping in mind the true purpose of the event – to raise funds for children and animals in need – its organizers felt it was important to find a paws-itive resolution to the problems at hand. They’ve spent the past several weeks devising a new plan and putting all the pieces into place and are finally ready to make the official announcement.

“It was time for this dog to find a new home, and we couldn’t be happier with Mayor Mark Johnson’s agreement for us to bring our 2020 parade to Covington,” said Denise Gutnisky, Mardi Paws’ founder. “We’ve had our eye on Covington for a few years now, watching with interest as their Mardi Gras festivities grew in popularity and attendance. The town appealed to us for a lot of reasons, but speaking strictly from a logistical perspective, downtown Covington is going to be an excellent place for our parade to roll because it offers more parking and less walking for everyone.”

Another reason Covington is a perfect locale is the fact that it’s the hometown of actor Ian Somerhalder of the television shows “Lost” and “The Vampire Diaries” and the Netflix series “V-Wars.” An ardent animal lover, on his 32nd birthday in December 201o, Somerhalder launched the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) with a goal of protecting animals and the environment. For the past four years, proceeds from the Mardi Paws parade have benefitted both ISF and their emergency medical grant program and Scott’s Wish, which provides aid for patients with leukemia and life-threatening illnesses.

The biggest trick now is going to be pulling off a parade (which often attracts hundreds of canine participants and tens of thousands of spectators) with only three months to plan and prepare with the new host location. “We’ve been doing this a long time and have a great communications network in place to spread the word about the change of venue,” Gutnisky said. “And I know that Covington and its downtown business community are going to help us deliver a spectacular event for participants, spectators, residents and businesses alike. We can’t thank the town enough for the support it’s already showing.”

The theme of the 2020 parade is Beyond All Boundaries: Exploring Sea, Air & Space, celebrating the limitless exploration both above and below the earth. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as everything from mermaids to astronauts. The theme was selected months ago, but it seems like the perfect choice for the year when the parade breaks out of its boundaries and takes a bold step in a new direction. You might say it’s a giant leap for dog-kind!

There’s a $25 registration fee per dog, which must be in costume, and up to six humans can accompany each four-legged friend. Human escorts are encouraged to dress to suit the theme, too. Spectators of both the human and canine variety are welcome, with the business community of Covington is ready to welcome them for drinks, meals, shopping and other activities throughout the afternoon.

# # #
Mindy Bianca