More than 25,000 people attended the 23rd annual Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws parade on the Mandeville lakefront March 5, the organization says. Costumed canines and their human companions marched for about a half mile and paid entry fees that went to Scott's Wish, which provides financial assistance to people facing difficult health issues, and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which promotes causes that benefit the environment and animal welfare, the organization said.
"Although we're still tallying income from participants, sponsors, donors and concessions, we're excited by the success of this year's parade, and we know we've raised thousands of dollars for these important causes," said Denise Gutnisky, who founded Mardi Paws 23 years ago.
Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser reigned as 2017 celebrity grand marshal along with his wife, Cher, and one of their dogs, Toby. "We really enjoyed being part of such a family-friendly event that attracts thousands of people to the beautiful Mandeville lakefront, one of the gems in our state," Nungesser said.