Mystic Krewe of Barkus parade: No bone of contention on a fun day in the French Quarter (photos)

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Hundreds of dogs and their escorts promenaded through the French Quarter as tens of thousands cheered on in the annual Mystic Krewe of Barkus parade on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon (Feb. 19).

This year’s theme: “Pirates of the Crescent City: Barkus Tells Tales of Jean Lafleabag.” Several venders supporting everything from shelter to animal rights were on hand as well.

I was given the opportunity to follow along with the Disco Amigos, the popular dance group, that literally brought up the rear of the parade, which started and ended in Armstrong Park. I’ll have some videos up later.

At home with Zulu King Jay Banks for Mardi Gras

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Profiling Zulu King Jay Banks and his wife, Artelia, for the New Orleans Advocate at their Uptown home was one of the highlights of the Carnival season — not just because it’s a chance to meet royalty, but because of the dedication to serve that fills their everyday lives:

If we can use this to benefit somebody, it’s worth it,” said the 55-year-old Banks, director of the Dryades YMCA School of Commerce. “It’s not about us. It all comes back to that basic idea of wanting to help people.”

Both Bankses make service and helping others a part of both their professional and personal lives. That includes his work with Zulu and New Orleans politics — totems of which permeate their modest residence. Keepsakes from Zulu balls and the Democratic National Convention share space on the walls, so I thought you might get a kick out of those images almost as much as the story itself.


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Here are some of the cool highlights from the 30th annual Krewe du Vieux parade Saturday (Jan. 23), which I previewed for the New Orleans Advocate. Send any cool photos to