Fat Tuesday

Dogs on Parade at New Orleans’s Mardi Gras and Rio’s Carnival (PHOTOS)

From a Yorkie with a fruit headdress in Copacabana to the French Quarter’s golden Lab ‘queen,’ see photos.

Charlie Varley / Sipa

BLOCAO PARTY

Of the hundreds of parades that lead up to Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, only the annual Blocao celebration features the four-legged samba of costumed canines. A play on bloco (street party) and cao (dog), Blocao even features a few courageous cats that also want to let their hair down. “The neighborhood of Copacabana has currently the most dog owners per square meter,” says Blocao organizer Marco Antonio Toto. “It deserves this prestigious party. Our animals deserve this celebration.”

Christophe Simon, AFP / Getty Images

WONDER DOG

Superhero costumes are always popular at Blocao—and this dog captures the essence of Wonder Woman, right down to the bracelets and golden lasso.

Christophe Simon, AFP / Getty Images

EASY RIDER

Not all dogs want to walk the route in Copacabana. This biker barker rocked a colorful motorcycle helmet and goggles as he was paraded through the streets of Rio.

Christophe Simon, AFP / Getty Images

STRAW DOGS

The heat got to some dogs along the steamy streets of Copacabana—especially given the costumes—so there was plenty of water along the way.

Christophe Simon, AFP / Getty Images

CANINE MIRANDA

The spirit of the legendary Brazilian samba singer and actress Carmen Miranda lived on at this year’s Blocao, with a Yorkie wearing a traditional fruit headdress.

Christophe Simon, AFP / Getty Images

HOT DOG!

Kiko, a 3-year-old dachshund, came dressed as—what else?—a hot dog. “Normally, he’s not a very social dog, with humans or other dogs,” said his owner, Denis Naiff. “But he’s really having fun. Must be the Carnival spirit.”

Charlie Varley / Sipa

MYSTIC KREWE OF BARKUS

Rio isn’t the only city that lets its annual Mardi Gras celebration go to the dogs. In New Orleans this year, the Mystic Krewe of Barkus returned to Armstrong Park in the French Quarter for its annual parade, featuring lots of costumed pets and children. Founded in 1993, Barkus—whose name is a play on the Krewe of Bacchus—raises awareness and money for animal shelters in the Gulf region.

Charlie Varley / Sipa

PRETTY IN PINK

Though all the costumed dogs looked festive at the Barkus parade, there can be only one king and queen. This year’s winners—King Wally, a poodle-and-retriever mix, and Queen Maggie, a golden Lab—were treated to a celebration at the legendary New Orleans restaurant Galatoire’s.

Charlie Varley / Sipa

HUNTING DOG

This pooch may not look like a traditional hunting dog, but decked out in its Cabela’s vest and with some stuffed trophies, it looks ready for action at the Barkus parade.

Charlie Varley / Sipa

CRUISIN’ THE PARADE ROUTE

The theme of this year’s Barkus parade, which has raised more than half a million dollars for animal shelters over the past 20 years, was “Mission Impossible: Canine Protocol.” Past themes have included “The Wizard of Paws” and “Jurassic Bark.”

Charlie Varley / Sipa

SAD CLOWN

As in all Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, there are plenty of beads thrown at the Barkus parade—and you don’t have to flash to get them. Though dressy flashy helps.