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Thousands of four-legged friends expected to participate in the St. Louis Mardi Gras tradition


Love is in the air this weekend in St. Louis…and it smells like bacon! On Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, thousands of well-dressed pets and their owners will express their Love for the Smell of Bacon, this year’s theme, while marching through the streets of Soulard during the 19th annual Beggin’® Pet Parade.

Attracting more than 8,000 pets and 80,000 people each year, the Beggin’ Pet Parade is one of the largest pet parades in the country. Both four- and two-legged friends can express their Love for the Smell of Bacon in a variety of ways. From bacon-themed games and photo booths to Beggin’ sampling activities for dogs and bacon sampling activities for people by Grillmasters, to the famous coronation ceremony costume contest and a new Guinness World Record™ attempt, there’s something for everyone…and every dog. Registration, check-in and all the events are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of Menard Street and Allen Avenue. The parade starts at 1 p.m.

The Beggin’ Pet Parade represents the spirit of celebration through pets’ memorable, fun-loving personalities and elaborate attention-getting costumes, so it’s only natural to attempt a Guinness World Record™. During the parade, pets and owners will be counted in an attempt to break the World Record for “Most Dogs in Costumed Attire.” The coronation ceremony will begin immediately after the parade concludes at Coronation Plaza, located at Soulard Market Park. During the Coronation Ceremony prizes for the best costumes will be given to the parade’s King, Queen and Most Loyal Subjects.

The 19th annual Beggin’ Pet Parade will help to raise funds for Open Door Animal Sanctuary, an animal rescue and adoption organization in St. Louis funded entirely from donations.

Parade participants are encouraged to pre-register online at A required registration fee of $10 per pet will directly benefit Open Door Animal Sanctuary. Online registration closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10; however, participants may also register on-site at the event beginning at 10 a.m. All registrants will be eligible to participate in the coronation ceremony competition and will receive a free Beggin’ Party Bag*. The bag includes hound handouts, such as a bag of Beggin’ brand dog snacks*, a certificate of participation, and Mardi Gras beads.

“The Beggin’ Pet Parade is one of the most unique, family-friendly Mardi Gras events in St. Louis each year,” said Tim Lorson, executive director of Mardi Gras, Inc. “So dress your four-legged friend in their best gear, help us support a good cause, and celebrate your love of Beggin’® and bacon.”

Pets marching in the parade are required to be on leashes for their safety and must be current on all vaccinations. For more information about the parade, visit

About Nestlé Purina PetCare
Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets.  A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., the world's largest food company.