'Vampire Diaries' star Ian Somerhalder returns to north shore to lead the March 9 Mardi Paws parade

"Vampire Diaries" actor Ian Somherhalder will bring his famous blue eyes and charitable spirit to Mandeville when he reigns on March 9 as Celebrity Monarch in this year's 20th annual Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws dog parade.
A native of St. Tammany Parish and a St. Paul's School alum, the popular Somerhalder is expected by the krewe to be a huge draw. By drawing big crowds to the Mandeville Lakefront for this annual walking parade, organizers hope he also will garner much-needed attention for local charities.
Those who clamored to catch a glimpse of Somerhalder when he paraded with the glitzy, illuminated super krewe of Endymion on March 1 may find the lower-key Mardi Paws allows a more casual – and, if his young fans are lucky, more close-up look at the local boy gone global.
According to Mardi Paws organizer Denise Gutnisky, fans won't need to "get crazy" to catch a glimpse along this one-mile route. Despite the krewe's offer to transport the actor in a motorized vehicle, he'll walk with the rest of the two- and four-footed krewe members.
"Ian insisted on walking," Gutnisky said. "The bike path is 8 feet wide, so the crowd will be pretty darn close ... no matter where you are along the parade route, you will get a great photo of him." The path will be barricaded on either side, and the actor will have extra security inside and outside the barricades. Gutnisky hopes he will stop to speak with fans and toss throws. More at
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