Mardi Paws

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Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws
Named afterMardi Gras
Formation1994; 30 years ago (1994)
FoundersDenise Gutnistky
Founded atMandeville, LA.
TypeCarnival Krewe
Legal statusNon Profit Organization
PurposeFundraising for Animal Charities
  • Covington, LA.
OriginsMandeville, LA

Mardi Paws is a Mardi Gras procession in Covington, Louisiana dedicated to animal welfare.


The Krewe of Mardi Paws is a nonprofit organization[1] that was founded in 1994 by Denise Gutnisky[2] as a small dog parade that raised funds for animal shelters, and began to have a different theme every year starting in 1999. The parade was born in Mandeville, but was moved to Downtown Covington in 2020.[3][4][5] The parade is held during the typical Mardi Gras season,.[6]

Although Bacchus was the first Mardi Gras krewe to have a celebrity appear as its monarch, Mardi Paws is the first dog parade to have a celebrity appear as its monarch. The first celebrity to walk in the parade as its King was Ian Somerhalder in 2014, who was born and raised in Covington, Louisiana.

The parade, typically held the first Sunday after Mardi Gras, was not able to roll in 2021 because of COVID-19, but they followed New Orleans in their idea to make "house floats," except the participants made "dog house floats.[7][8][9]" In 2022, the parade is scheduled to roll as usual, but the theme has not yet been decided.

Another event the organization has started is Mutts to Models,[10] also held in Mandeville, where local personalities walk in a fashion show with their dog;[11] The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws has also put on several adoption events as well as smaller fundraising events such as Mutts & Moonshine,[12] which benefited TADSAW, (Train a Dog, Save a Warrior),[13] a charity based in Texas that works with veterans and service dogs. In 2020, they also hosted "Trunk or Treat," a Halloween costume contest benefitting the St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter[14] In October 2020, they hosted, "Mardi Paws Geauxs Pink" to help raise awareness for breast cancer.[15]


The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws rolls during the New Orleans Mardi Gras season, on the first Sunday after Fat Tuesday.

Parade Themes[edit]

  • 1994 No Theme
  • 1995 No Theme
  • 1996 No Theme
  • 1997 No Theme
  • 1998 Where Y'at Dawlin'
  • 1999 Walk on the Wild Side!
  • 2000 Every Dog has its Day!
  • 2001 Dog-gone With The Wind
  • 2002 "PAWS"itively Patriotic!
  • 2003 Mardi Paws goes to HOWL-YWOOD!
  • 2004 Olympic Com"PAW"tition
  • 2005 Puppy Love
  • 2006 Year of the Dog
  • 2007 Mardi Paws Does Disney
  • 2008 It's a Dog's Life
  • 2009 Mardi Paws Tunes in to TV!
  • 2010 Around the World[16]
  • 2011 Diggin' Louisiana
  • 2012 Mardi Paws Goes Bark in Time
  • 2013 Mardi Paws Gets Doggone Wet
  • 2014 Live from the Red Carpet
  • 2015 Mardi Paws Takes a Road Trip[17]
  • 2016 Love is in the Hair[18]
  • 2017 Under the Big Top
  • 2018 Fables, Fairy Tales & Nursery Rhymes[19]
  • 2019[20] Super Paws[21][22]
  • 2020 Beyond All Boundaries: Exploring Sea, Air & Space[23][24]
  • 2021 Pups are "In the House"[25]


  • Ian Somerhalder Foundation[26]
  • Scott's Wish[27]
  • St. Tammany Spay & Neuter
  • Miracle League
  • Children's Hospital
  • TADSAW[28]
  • St. Tammany Parish Animal Shelter
  • Capital Area Animal Welfare Society
  • Take Paws Rescue[29]
  • ONEHOPE Wine


  1. ^ Times-Picayune, Bob Warren, NOLA com | The. "Dogs and their humans will march in Mandeville's Mardi Paws parade March 10". Retrieved 2021-07-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. United States: Patent & Trademark Office. 2002 [1986]. p. 992.
  3. ^ "STPSO K9 Copper named 2020 Canine Grand Marshal of Mardi Paws". WGNO. 2020-02-27. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
  4. ^ Team, WDSU Digital (2019-12-04). "The Krewe of Mardi Paws will roll in Covington in 2020". WDSU. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
  5. ^ writer, SARA PAGONES | Staff. "Mardi Paws parade moving to Covington, while a new dog parade sniffs out Mandeville lakefront". Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  6. ^ Sawyer, Meryl (2015). Closer Than She Thinks. United States: Open Road Media. ISBN 9781504027212.
  7. ^ Wolfe, Rachel (2021-01-22). "How to Celebrate Mardi Gras During Covid: Turn Your House Into a Parade Float". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  8. ^ "Dog House Floats Popping Up in New Orleans Area Amid Mardi Gras Cancelations". Southern Living. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  9. ^ "Mardi Gras 2021 Parade Cancellations Inspire 'Dog House Floats' Created to Safely Spread Cheer". Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  10. ^ "Forget Fashion Week! Ian Somerhalder Hosted a Precious Pup Pageant You Need to See Right Now". Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  11. ^ Bachman, Kara Martinez. "Actor Ian Somerhalder and royal canines get in costume for Mutts to Models ball". Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  12. ^ "Mutts & Moonshine. Good cause. Good dogs". WGNO. 2019-05-17. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  13. ^ Jake, D. L. (2016). Phyto's landscape : a landscape design strategy for a German shepherd rescue facility (thesis). Ball State University, Muncie.
  14. ^ "Canine Trunk or Treat & Costume Contest". NOLA Family Magazine. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  15. ^ writer, JESSICA SAGGIO | Contributing. "Mardi Paws geauxs pink, docs paint their nails all to fight breast cancer". Retrieved 2021-07-08.
  16. ^ Wolfram, Carol. "Tailgate time: North Shore Saints fans show team spirit". Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  17. ^ Advocate, The. "Photos: Mardi Paws". Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  18. ^ Sanchez, Juan (2016-02-03). "With 'Love is in the Hair' theme, Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws to roll Feb. 14". WDSU. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  19. ^ Schultz, Brandon. "5 Reasons To Go To The Mardi Gras Parade For Dogs". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  20. ^ Bachman, Kara Martinez. "Mardi Paws honors abused pup rescued from dog-fighting world". Retrieved 2021-07-13.
  21. ^ Mardi Paws 2019, retrieved 2021-07-07
  22. ^ "Watch: Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws wags through Mandeville". 11 March 2019. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  23. ^ "Mardi Paws in Covington". Retrieved 2021-07-13.
  24. ^ "Star Ian Somerhalder leads pup pack at Mardi Paws Parade in Covington". WGNO. 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  25. ^ writer, SUZANNE PFEFFERLE TAFUR | Contributing. "Tongues -- and tails -- wagging over Mardi Paws doghouse floats for Carnival". Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  26. ^ Times-Picayune, Robert Rhoden, NOLA com | The. "Ian Somerhalder Foundation gets parish approval to access Lacombe property". Retrieved 2021-07-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ "The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws". Biz New Orleans. 2021-01-18. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  28. ^ "Award-Winning Actress Kerry Cahill of the Oscar-Nominated Film Mudbound and The Walking Dead will Host Mutts & Moonshine to Benefit for Train a Dog, Save a Warrior". PRWeb. Retrieved 2021-07-07.
  29. ^ "Mardi Paws with Take Paws Rescue and ONEHOPE Wine". My New Orleans. 2021-02-01. Retrieved 2021-07-13.