Presenting the check to the Franklin County Humane Society are, from left: Doug Jimerson, president of the humane society; Sarah Madson, president, and Ken Justice, treasurer, Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers; and Karen Martin, director, and Mary Seymour, board member, of the humane society. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
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Barkus Parade yields $23K to benefit animals

Tails were wagging high!

The annual Apalachicola Mardi Gras Barkus Parade on Feb. 24 was a phenomenal success, as two- and four-legged friends from all over the country flooded the streets again to walk, wag and woof their way through downtown.

Apalachicola Police Chief Bobby Varnes, Sheriff A.J. Smith, this year’s grand marshal, and Apalachicola Mayor Brenda Ash led the parade of pooches in Western-themed attire. There were beautiful memorials to pets who will be missed but never forgotten, such as the sheriff’s “Tucker” and “Hounddog”). 

The weather was glorious, with the exception of a few wind gusts, and in true Mardi Gras fashion the costumes were unforgettable, and the entertainment hopping. Both canine royalty were adopted, Queen June Bug by Lynn Wilder and King Noa by Sheriff Smith and wife Helen, as were several other dogs and a cat. 

This event was supported by generous sponsors, including the Franklin County Tourism Development Council, Duke Energy, Scipio Creek Marina, Apalachicola Chocolate and Coffee Company, The Pet Stop, Centennial Bank and the Eastpoint Beer Company. In addition, many people and businesses donated to the silent auction.

“The Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers is thankful for the support and hard work of volunteers that make this event successful year after year,” said Sarah Madson, president, Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers. “The impact of this parade on the local economy is significant with thousands of visitors filling the streets of downtown Apalachicola as well as the local restaurants, watering holes and shops. 

Jessica Beatty, executive director of Florida Wild Mammal Association, along with a swallow-tailed kite, Marshmallow, that is unable to be released back into the wild due to a previous injury, but now plays foster mom to baby kites at FWMA each spring. [ Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers | Contributed ]

The Mystic Krewe donated a total of $23,200 this year, $12,000 to Florida Wild Mammal Association and $11,200 to the Franklin County Humane Society. Since its inception, The Mystic Krewe has raised over $100,000 for the care of injured wildlife and homeless dogs and cats through the Mardi Gras Barkus Parade. 

“Franklin County is unique with its pet friendly accommodations and alluring wildlife. We know that this area and the animals are special, and we need to take care of what is important to us,” said Madson. “I am inspired by all the participation and support. We absolutely love hosting this event; animals and the essence of Mardi Gras – what’s not to love?”

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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