I went to the Dog Parade last week. What I liked best was when the dogs were in costum or random elements were brought in, like the Buffalo. The best dog costume I saw was a little dog with a saddle and cowboy on his back. Smaller than Barbie size.
I also believe this parade prepared me for yesterday's because I learned to park far away and get there early. The danger of the Mardi Gras is it being just an excuse for people to drink in the streets.