Families and Dogs Dress up for Parade and Costume Contest

Ninth annual Krewe of Barkus Returns to Historic Downtown McKinney

Downtown McKinney is off to the races, calling all four-legged canine friends and their best buddies to share in the excitement of the Krewe of Barkus Mardi Gras dog parade and costume contest on Sunday, March 6. Pictured below is Lady Godiva, the reigning Queen of Barkus.

dog in costume

This year is the ninth annual event created by the Art Institute of McKinney's founder, Blynda Christian. In years past, more than 200 dogs participated in the parade for 4,500 spectators. Patterned after the mystic Krewe of Barkus parade in New Orleans, which was established to help abused and abandoned canines, the McKinney event features a parade, vendor booths, interactive activities and much more.

In partnership with McKinney Main Street, Art Institute of McKinney (AIM) will hold the doggone parade at Mitchell Park, just west of the Historic Downtown commercial district. Vendors will be on hand starting at 12:30 p.m. to showcase their products and services. The parade will begin promptly at 2 p.m. followed by the costume contest. The theme for this year's event is, Happy Tails to You ¦Barkus Salutes Texas and Wild, Wild West .

Barkus fun isn't limited to just dogs and their owners. Children may enter Wild West  floats and join in the parade. The route begins at Mitchell Park at the corner of Church St. and Louisiana St., proceeding east on Louisiana St. then north on Tennessee St. and finally west on Virginia St. ending back at Mitchell Park.

She Is Dallas info: The event is free and open to everyone. Cost for participants to enter the costume contest is $5 per dog, and pre-registration is required to secure your spot. However, there is not a fee to walk in the parade. To register, contact the Art Institute of McKinney at 972-369-7911 or info@artinstituteofmckinney.com. Please be sure to include the dog's name, color and breed, along with the owner's name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Prizes will be awarded for each size (small, medium, large and really large) for Best Costume, Best Dog and Owner Combo and overall Best of Show.

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