A small town in Florida became the center of a festive dog parade that saw countless pooches march down Deland’s main street in colorful and creative costumes and bright beads.
Deland, located in central Florida near Orlando, hosted its 26th annual Dog Parade with a ‘Mardi Gras in La Habana’ theme this past Saturday, February 18th.
The theme was inspired by the Carnaval in La Habana, celebrated annually since the 1900s. Mardi Gras is celebrated in the US and many other countries before the Catholic season of Lent. However, in Cuba, it was changed to July. It is one of the most widely attended events in the province of Habana and includes lively music, colorful costumes, parades, and traditional Cuban foods.
The festival kicked off with a dog costume contest in the morning from 8 am until 10 am. According to the Daytona Beach News Journal, more than 50 dogs registered for the costume contest, the most that the event has have ever had.
Deland’s Mardi Gras Dog Parade continued at 10 am with a party on Georgia Avenue which included food trucks, local vendors and live music. While the festival party on Georgia Ave continued until 3 pm, the dog parade started at 11 am and finished at 1230 pm.
The parade included floats as well as different cars and dog parents walking their dogs decorated in either Mardi Gras themed or Mardi Gras in La Habana themed. More than 100 floats were registered to participate in the parade.
For over twenty years, the Krewe of Amalee, a charitable organisation based in Deland, has hosted the dog festival. Each year, the theme changes and delights the thousands of dog lovers with the costumed creativity marching down the town’s Mainstreet.