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Beggin' Pet Parade at Soulard Mardi Gras

By Deborah O'Brien

Beggin' Pet Parade at Soulard Mardi Gras
Photo Courtesy Mardi Gras, Inc.
The annual Soulard Mardi Gras celebration is the biggest party in town, and one of its most popular events is the Beggin' Pet Parade. Thousands of pets (mostly dogs) don their best costumes and parade through the streets of Soulard. It's always a fun event for pet owners and those who just come to watch.

When and Where:

The pet parade is held the weekend before the Grand Parade at Soulard Mardi Gras. In 2014, the parade is Sunday, February 23, at 1 p.m. It begins at Allen and Menard in the heart of Soulard, then makes its way through the neighborhood to 8th and Lafayette Streets near Soulard Market Park. After the parade, stick around for a free concert from the Barenaked Ladies at 2:30 p.m.

If you haven't been before, the pet parade is truly something to see. For a look at what to expect, check out these pictures from past pet parades.

How to Register:

Registration to march in the parade is $10 per animal. Money raised goes to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter in House Springs, Missouri. Registration is available online, or beginning at 10 a.m., on parade day at Allen and Menard.

Wiener Dog Derby:

The fun doesn't end when the parade is over. Everyone is invited to Soulard Market Park for the Petsmart Wiener Dog Derby beginning at 2 p.m. Dachshunds of all sizes race in three divisions based on their age. After the race, trophies are presented to the winners and their owners in the Wiener’s Circle.

Registration for the Wiener Dog Derby is from 10 a.m. to noon on race day at Soulard Market Park. The cost to race is $10 per dog with a portion of the money raised going to the Dachshund Rescue Foundation.

Other Mardi Gras Events:

The Pet Parade and Wiener Dog Derby are just two events in the month long celebration at Soulard Mardi Gras. The biggest event of the celebration is the Grand Parade on March 1. Huge crowds come out to catch beads and see more than 100 floats make their way through Soulard.

The festivities end on March 4 with the Light Up the Night Fat Tuesday Parade. More floats, more beads and live music wrap up the Mardi Gras season in St. Louis.

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