March 08, 2019  |  12:53 pm

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s K9 Echo has been named 2019 Canine Grand Marshal for the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws. The Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws will celebrate all things Comic Book Culture at its 25th annual parade, taking place along the Mandeville Lakefront on Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. K9 Echo is a 3-year-old female Labrador trained in narcotic detection assigned to the STPSO Highway Enforcement Unit. The Highway Enforcement Unit concentrates on traffic enforcement and intercepting traveling criminals primarily on the interstate systems in St. Tammany Parish. When K9 Echo is not working enforcement on the highways with her handler, Deputy James Kelley, she loves playing with her favorite rubber ball on a rope, getting love from her mom (Deputy Kelley’s wife, Lauren) and sleeping on her back. K9 Echo was purchased using funds donated by a private citizen. The theme of this year’s Mardi Paws parade is “Super Paws.” All four-legged participants will be in costume and a panel of professional judges will select the costume winners. Those interested in participating with their canine can pre-register at or sign up on site on Sunday. There is a $25 registration fee per dog. Money raised from sponsorships for the event benefit Scott’s Wish, which provides aid to patients with leukemia and other life-threatening illnesses, and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which aims to empower, educate and positively impact the planet and its creatures. Somerhalder, an actor known for TV roles on "Lost" and "The Vampire Diaries," grew up in Covington and bought 100 acres in Mandeville to help preserve the bayou. K9 Echo also served as Canine Grand Marshal for the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws in 2018 making this her second reign. For more information about the parade or to sponsor, visit