Mardi Gras brings out some real party animals, especially at the Beggin' Pet Parade and Wiener Dog Derby. Well-behaved creatures of all sizes and shapes don their finest duds for this costumed march with their human companions through Soulard. Registration takes place at 10 a.m. and requires a $10 donation to Open Door Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter. The actual parade starts at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Allen Avenue and Menard Street, with Grand Marshal Andy Cohen leading the way. Admission is free if you just want to watch the pageantry. After that comes the races -- the Wiener Dog Derby in Soulard Market Park. Dachshunds run 30-second sprints in elimination heats until the fastest wiener dog in St. Louis is crowned. It's $10 to enter your dachshund but free for spectators. For more information about the parade and the derby, visit
Sun., Feb. 23, 2014

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