The Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers
the fall of 2011, a group of animal-loving, fun-loving folks in the
small coastal town of Apalachicola, Florida, decided to help renew an
old tradition. At the dawn of the 20th century, Apalachicola celebrated
Mardi Gras in much the same way as other bigger Gulf cities like New
Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. There were three days of brass bands,
costumed characters, and boisterous parades. Mardi Gras royalty arrived
by boat and floats were decorated with palmetto fronds and camellias.
The serious years of World War II put a complete stop to the
celebration. For 60 years there were no Mardi Gras festivals in
Apalachicola. Now Mardi Gras is making a comeback in the form of a
"barkus" parade, a procession of costumed canines and their owners,
zydeco music, and lots of beads.
Each year the Krewe chooses a theme, a local celebrity to be Grand
Marshal, and a canine king and queen, usually Shelter animals in need
of a forever home. Past themes have included "Noah's Bark", "Puttin' on
the Dog", and "Sea Dogs". With a theme of "Barkaritaville", the 2015
parade, was Mardi Gras island-style. The tradition continued in 2016,
with the theme "Woofstock" inspiring a parade of hippie canines and
their flower-loving folks. The 2018 parade with the theme "Bourbone
Street Blues" is an old fashioned celebration Mardi Gras style. After
winding through downtown, the parade ends at a fais do-do, a public
party with live music, dancing, Cajun food, a professional
photographer, contests, auctions, games, and more beads.
In addition to private events,
the Krewe participates in other parades and hosts fundraisers including
pet shows at local festivals. Proceeds from all Krewe events are for the benefit of the animals of Franklin County.
Krewe membership is open to
anyone who loves animals and likes to have fun. We have members from
Texas to Tennessee and some who don't even have dogs. (We can loan you
one for the parade if you like.) We don't have many rules or business
meetings but we do expect Krewe members to help with our activities,
even if from a distance. Our fundraisers are public events but we do
have a number of private ones just for Krewe members and their guests.
Contact us if you're interested in joining Apalachicola's only Mardi
* New Member Fee $25.00 (includes first year's dues)
* Annual Dues $20.00
* Dogs are always free
All of our fees and fundraising efforts help support the Franklin County Animal Shelter and the Apalachicola Dog Park.
Membership includes Krewe beads and invitations to Krewe-only events.