ST. LOUIS – The streets of Soulard were filled with dogs as they, and their humans, took part in the 30th annual Purina Pet Parade.
“It is a Guinness World Record holding event. We had fantastic, massive crowds out here,” said Dan Koehler with Purina.
The annual family-friendly event is a St. Louis Mardi Gras tradition and is the world’s largest costumed pet-parade.
“This is just a great day for people to bring their families out, bring their pets out,” Bess McCoy with The Mardi Gras Foundation shared. “Everything from dogs, cats, turtles, snakes – we’ve even seen birds in the past.”
Registration to walk in the parade was $10 per pet, and all the proceeds benefit Open Door Animal Sanctuary.
“It helps provide funding, so they can do things like spay and neuter, they can help rehabilitate pets,” Koehler explained. “So that way when a family comes in looking to add them to their family, they’re ready to go. They’re out, they’re microchipped, and they’re ready to be assimilated into their family.”
Purina was able to raise about $10,000.
“I love seeing people bring their families to Soulard and getting to enjoy the Mardi Gras Season,” McCoy expressed.
“I always love seeing the bond people have with their pets. When they come out you can see the creativity in the costumes, you can see the smiles that they share,” said Koehler.
The parade started at 12th Street and Allen, then proceeded throughout the streets of Soulard, ultimately ending at Soulard Market Park. There was no charge to attend the parade as a spectator.