In the Fall of 2010, a group of animal-loving, fun-loving folks in the small, coastal town of Apalachicola, Florida, decided to renew an old tradition. At the dawn of the 20th Century, Apalachicola celebrated Mardi Gras in much the same way as other bigger Gulf cities like New Orleans and Mobile. There were three days of brass bands, costumed characters, and boisterous parades. Mardi Gras royalty arrives by boat and floats pulled by mules were decorated with Palmetto fronds and Camellias.
The serious years of World War I put a complete stop to the celebration. Now Mardi Gras has made a comeback in the form of a “Barkus” Parade, a procession of costumed canines and their owners, Zydeco music, and lots of beads.
Each year the Krewe chooses a theme and a local celebrity to be Grand Marshal. There is always a special place in the parade for the Canine King and Queen, shelter animals in need of a forever home. Past themes have included “Bark Side of the Moon”, “Furry Tails Come True”, and “Bur-Bone Street Blues”. The 2021 Parade with the “Pirates of Oyster City” theme is sure to be just as much fun!
After winding through downtown, the parade ends at a Fais Do-Do, a public party with live music, dancing, Cajun food, local seafood, auctions, arts and crafts vendors and more beads.
Proceeds from all Krewe events are for the benefit of the animals of Franklin County.
In addition to private events, the Krewe participates in other parades and hosts fundraisers. Membership is open to anyone who loves animals and likes to have fun.