A hometown favorite will return to lead this year’s 26th annual Mardi Paws Dog Parade — which will now roll through Covington.
Covington native Ian Somerhalder will lead the pack on Sunday, March 1 in St. Tammany Parish. The parade is set to start for 2 p.m. and will benefit his nonprofit, the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.
Organizers for the Mardi Paws Parade also announce a big move to Covington, after 25 years of rolling in Mandeville.
This year, the parade is moving from the town of Mandeville, where Somerhalder attended high school, to Covington, the town where he grew up. Though Somerhalder gained notoriety for starring in “Lost,” the star is best known for his role in the series “Vampire Diaries.”
The krewe cited “more parking and less parking” as two logistical reasons for making the leap to the new location.
“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 krewe said in a statement on its website.
This year’s parade theme, “Beyond All Boundaries: Exploring Sea, Air & Space,” celebrates the limitless exploration both above and below Earth’s surface.
Participants are encouraged to come dressed as everything from mermaids to astronauts. Organizers say animals must be in costume or decorated to participate. Rollerblading, skateboards, bicycles, or motorized floats of any kind are not allowed. For more important information on do’s and don’ts, click here.
The sought after parade throws are poops. Yes, poops! Not the garden variety kind, but stress-relieving rubber, glitter, and gold poops! Participants are encouraged to join in the fun and create your own prized throws to bring along.
Registration for the parade starts at 12:30 p.m. beginning at the Farmer’s Market Area. The parade will start on N. Columbia near Covington Police Department through Downtown Covington and finishes near the Covington Trailhead on New Hampshire. The post parade extravaganza will include food, music, fun and much more for dogs and their human friends alike.
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.
There is a $25 donation for each participating dog. Each dog is allowed up to six human escorts. Each additional escort is $10. For more information, visit the website.
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