Downtown McKinney is calling all four-legged canine friends and their owners to the 11th annual Krewe of Barkus Mardi Gras dog parade and costume contest on Sunday, Feb. 10. The event starts at 12:30 p.m., and the parade begins promptly at 2 p.m. This year’s theme celebrates animated characters from the Sunday comics, comic books, movies, television and more.

Patterned after the legendary Krewe of Barkus parade in New Orleans, which was established to help abused and abandoned canines, the McKinney event features a parade, costume contest, vendor booths and interactive activities for the entire family.

In partnership with McKinney Main Street, Art Institute of McKinney will hold the parade at Mitchell Park, just west of the Historic Downtown commercial district. In past years, more than 200 dogs marched in the parade for as many as 4,500 spectators. Vendors will showcase their products and services starting at 12:30 p.m. Barkus fun isn’t limited to just dogs and their owners. Children may enter floats and join in the parade.

The event is free and open to everyone. Cost for participants to enter the costume contest is $5 per dog, and pre-registration is required. To register, contact the Art Institute of McKinney at by Feb. 3. Please be sure to include the dog’s name, color and breed, along with the owner’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Prizes will be awarded for each size (small, medium, large and exceptionally large) for Best Costume, Best Dog and Owner Combo and overall Best of Show.

For more information about the event, call 972-547-2661 or visit This event is sponsored in part by McKinney Main Street, Art Institute of McKinney, Rover Resort, Critter Concierge and the Canine Cookie Company.


About McKinney

McKinney, Texas, is unique by nature. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., McKinney has a current population of nearly 141,000. Incorporated in 1848, the city is located 30 miles north of Dallas and is the county seat of Collin County. McKinney offers rolling hills, lush trees, a historic downtown square and unique neighborhoods and developments. The city ranks No. 2 on the Money Magazine Best Places to Live list for 2012. Visit the city’s website at