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By Hilary Davidson

Beggin' Strips Barkus Pet Parade Sunday February 3

How many public events actually include your beloved pooch? The Soulard Mardi Gras Beggin' Strips Barkus Pet Parade is one of the highlights of Mardi Gras just for that. Where else can you and your dog, both gussied up for the festivities, march in a parade (or watch and smell) other paraders) and join the raucous fun?

The parade begins at Allen and Menard in the heart of Soulard at 1 p.m., then goes through the neighborhood to 8th and Lafayette Streets near Soulard Market Park.

Marching in the parade costs $10 per animal. Money raised benefits 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.

An animal costume is after the parade at 1:30. Then at 2:30 The Bacon Brothers will perform.