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Krewe of Barkus prepares for inaugural parade through downtown

Canine cuties will take to the streets Saturday, Feb. 22 for the inaugural Krewe of Barkus Pet Parade.

Sponsored by the Vicksburg Main Street Program and Bark Avenue, dogs of every shape, size and breed are invited to participate in the event, which will take place before the “human” Mardi Gras parade.

Debbie Haworth, who is one of the event organizers, said the idea to have a pooch parade was inspired by a neighboring state.

“When the mayor took a group of us to Little Rock, we were talking to their downtown director and this is one thing he said was so much fun,” Haworth said.

The idea struck a chord with Haworth, who loves parades and her dog, Paisley Park.

“I told Kim (Hopkins, who is the executive director of the Vicksburg Main Street Program) this would be a great fit for Main Street,” Haworth said, “Since we already have our Mardi Gras Parade. We could just do this directly before.”

Haworth also reached out to Bark Avenue Hotel and Spa, a local business that operates a grooming service for pets as well as a hotel and spa for dogs and cats, to see if they would be interested in helping sponsor the event.

Owner Terra Mashburn agreed and is also offering a $10 discount at Bark Avenue for those who participate in the parade.

During the parade, pets will be judged, and prizes will be awarded to the best dressed small and large dog.

All dogs must be accompanied by their human, and while it is not required, Haworth said, some of the participants have already said they plan to decorate little wagons for their pups to ride in and throw beads.

The Krewe of Barkus Pet Parade will begin at 3:45 p.m. on Veto Street and continue north to the Washington Street Park.

“Bark Avenue is going to have a tent set up with treats and water, and we are just going to have a little dog party down there,” Haworth said.

The cost to enter the pet parade is $10 and fees can be mailed to the Main Street office, 912 Cherry St., Vicksburg, MS 39180.

The deadline for mail-in registration is Feb. 17. Same-day registration will begin at 2:30 p.m. before the parade line up, which will begin at 3:15.

Proceeds will benefit the Vicksburg Main Street Program.

“I think it is going to be really fun,” Haworth said.

For more information, call 601-415-7822 or email debhaworth@bellsouth.net.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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