The 26th Annual Mardi Paws in Covington

Narconon Louisiana New Life Retreat attended to pass out drug education materials.

Parade Dog Stops to Get Pets

​​Covington, Louisiana was the location of this past weekend’s 26th Annual Mardi Paws parade, a whimsical celebration with dogs parading in costume in celebration of Mardi Gras. After 25 years in Mandeville, the parade this year moved to its new home in Covington. Parade Organizer Denise Gutnisky had this to say:

“It was time for this dog to find a new home, and we couldn’t be happier with Mayor Mark Johnson’s agreement for us to bring our 2020 parade to Covington."

This year, the founder of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation joined the festivities. An actor, environmentalist, and humanitarian, Ian Somerhalder is best to know for his role as Damon on the show "Vampire Diaries". As the foundation’s creator, he has been designated as a United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador. His foundation works to advance science and promote the conservation of natural resources through education. Even with the foundation’s projects and activities, Mr. Somerhalder took time from his busy schedule to be part of Mardi Paws in his hometown of Covington. A huge animal lover, he also works to end animal cruelty. 

The theme of the 2020 parade was Beyond All Boundaries: Exploring Sea, Air & Space. It started at 2 p.m., winding through Covington with all manner of dogs dressed as different types of explorers, astronauts, pilots, and sailors. The parade route was lined with dog lovers and dogs of every shape and size. There were as many dogs watching the parade as there were in the parade itself. The floats in the parade were throwing out beads, trinkets and the Mardi Paws only toy poop to parade-goers. The parade route ended at the Tammany Trace Covington Trailhead, where vendor booths were set up with businesses of all kinds: Camp Bow Wow, Bark Box, Ochsner Hospital, Narconon Louisiana, and Us Service Animals, to name a few.  Food trucks participated in the event where parade attendees, dog owners and their four-legged friends could get treats. 

Narconon New Life Retreat was happy to have their drug detection dog walk in the parade. Teddy Narconon's drug dog walked in the parade dressed as an astronaut accompanied by a rocket float. The throws for the Narconon float were bracelets reading drug-free for life. Along with this back at Narconons booth at the trailhead, the staff was standing by to hand out free drug education booklets. 

The Mardi Paws parade is a fundraiser for the non-profits Ian Somerhalder Foundation and Scott's Wish. Scott's Wish foundation works to help those suffering from leukemia and other devastating illnesses, offering support for patients' families and caretakers to help with the cost of treatment, travel, and other hurdles many patients may encounter.

If you live in Louisiana and love dogs, learn more about Mardi Paws on their website at

Source: Narconon Louisiana New Life Retreat