A big Barkus 'thank you'
By Blynda Christian
Feb 7, 2024
Print this page
Email this article

McKinney, Texas -- Thank you to everyone who participated in the 22nd  Annual Krewe of Barkus Parade – Barkus Salutes the Lone Star State - celebrating the history, culture, cuisine, and crazy characters of Texas.  What a day!  The weather was crazy (from cold to sunny to pouring rain), the crowd was huge, and the costumes were off the hook!  We were delighted with the support and grateful for the brave that stuck till the end with umbrellas in hand.

Barkus founder, Blynda Christian

Here’s a Big Barkus thank you to my partner, Tommy Ray. This was his first Barkus and I worked that poor man to death!  He was also our photographer this year, pulling double duty. Thanks to my sis-in-love, Patty Brown, who kept me focused and sane during the week, to Carla Sayle, who solicited and gathered prizes from downtown merchants, and Paula Hermelyn, who organized and kept track of registration, Susan Mouser who ran check in and helped me organize over $3,700 worth of prizes, along with Jennifer Dollard, Vanesa Stucki, Shung Pak and many others.  Vanesa also coordinated the parade - no small task! Thanks to Laureen Lehman, who stuffed the swag bags, and also Cassandra and Eric Wilkins, who handed them out.

Thank you to David Pine, our website guru. Thank you to Monty Day and Joey Lubischer, who did anything we asked.  Our roaming photographer, Pam Klekamp, took the best candid "framed" shots throughout the day.  Thanks to our photography assistants Candy Carnes and Kelli Calhoun. All of our krewe helped in the parade as well.

Our judges had a monumental task before them, as always! Thank you to Jessica Hogan, Carla Sayle, & Wendolin Mercado. I don’t know how you do it.  Our City Events coordinator, Gregory Hearns, was an absolute pleasure to work with as was Andrew Jones, our Cultural District Director.  Ryan Phelan and Graham Myers were fabulous point men, in Gregory's absence, and Jakia Brunell does a great job with marketing and vendors. We’ve got a great team!

We so appreciate Mayor George Fuller and Maylee and their support every year. They got drenched walking the parade, right along with the rest of us! 

We have posted some photos on our Krewe of Barkus Facebook page, so look for them.  I'll also be emailing you with pics taken at the event. Tommy is busy editing them now.

And the winners are......



3rd Place - #22 – Amanda Anderson – mini Labradoodle – TX Colleges

2nd Place - #6 – Heather Ferguson – Havanes – Bluebell ice cream

1st Place - #44 – Debbie Baker – yellow lab & blue heeler – Western cowboys


          3rd Place - #51 – Laura Pace – terrier mix - Mardi Gras dog

          2nd Place - #27 – Erin Vangundy – chihuahuas – Need more


          1st Place - #24 – Tammy Martellini – 5 dogs – Longhorns



          3rd Place - #25 – Christie Smistad – Swiss mountain dog – Cowpoke/rodeo

          2nd Place - #33 – Megan Aeschbach – golden doodles – Buc-ee's Beaver

          1st Place - #23 – Adah Leah Wolf – Italian greyhound – Doggone Reliable Power Company of TX


3rd Place - #69 – Celeste Cox – Pom/Poodle & Great Pyraneese – Willie Nelson & Dixie Chick

2nd Place - #81 -Aleiyah Ross – Shih Tzu – Pirates take over Galveston

1st Place - #26 – Terree Stone – Shih Tzu & Terrier – Dr Pepper & Whataburger


3rd Place - #75 – Amy Cox – Terriers & Chihuahua – glam cowboys & cowgirls

2nd Place - #9 – Casey Strange – Boxer & Bernedoodle – Miss Dublin pageant

1st Place - #5 – Carl & Raquel Francis – Shih Tzus – Whataburger



#41 – Steve Berdote – Golden retriever – Jim Adler, The Texas Hammer


#4 – Jamie Perrenoud – Lab mix & mix – State Fair of Texas

Contestants really outdid themselves. this year! Congratulations!  Remember, our parade is always the Sunday before Mardi Gras, so next year the date is March 2, 2025.  I'm looking forward to the later date! This one snuck up on us!

In 2025, we're gonna take a little trip, but it's not like any other trip we have taken so far.  It's actually far, far away.

Do we have any Star Wars fans among us?  How about Trekkies?  How about Dr. Who?  (me, me, me!) For that matter, who has seen a UFO... or who would like to?

On Sunday, March 2, 2025 (our 23rd parade) we are headed to outer space.  Our theme will be:  Out Of This World - From Astronauts to Aliens - Barkus Shoots For The Stars!

Oh I cannot wait to see what you guys come up with!