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Hundreds of dogs will be on the prowl for Mardi Growl!

February 19, 2018

Hundreds of dogs and their human companions will stroll through downtown Knoxville on Saturday, March 3, during the 11th annual Mardi Growl to benefit Young-Williams Animal Center.

Mardi Growl 2018, presented by Old City Wine Bar, features a pet-friendly parade beginning at 11 a.m., along with a festival on Market Square from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

“We hope all pet lovers will come celebrate with us and support our mission to ‘find a home for every pet,’” says Janet Testerman, chief executive officer of Young-Williams Animal Center. “Whether you’re a sponsor, vendor or participant in Mardi Growl, registering to walk with your dog or just enjoying the festivities, you will support much-needed services for more than 10,000 animals a year in our community.”

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Young-Williams Animal Center will offer microchips and rabies vaccines for $10 and pet ID tags for $5. More than 80 vendors will participate, including food trucks, pet product manufacturers, rescue groups, artists and clothing boutiques. K-Town Music will provide live entertainment.

“Mardi Growl is a perfect blend of family, four-legged friends and Mardi Gras fun,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. “We encourage everyone with or without pets to come and enjoy the festival. While you’re here, you can also enjoy the fantastic restaurants, shops, and cultural amenities our dynamic downtown has to offer.”

In addition to the Mardi Growl parade and festival, downtown Knoxville restaurants, bars and boutiques will participate in the Mardi Growl Cajun Crawl by offering events and specials from Friday, Feb. 23, to Saturday, March 3. Visit for more information.

Parade participants can register at prior to the event for $15 per dog. Day-of-event registration on March 3 is $20 per dog. Goody bags will be given to registered participants while supplies last.

The parade features seven costume contests: Best Dawg Pack; Volunteer Spirit; Pet/Owner Look-a-like; Most Unique Mixed Breed; Best Naked Dog; Best Dog Couple; and Best Costume. Information about the categories is available on the Mardi Growl registration page.

A panel of judges will include representatives from parade media sponsors, WBIR-TV Channel 10 and Star 102.1 FM. Additional community leaders will select the winners to be announced at the Bill Lyons Stage on Market Square at 1 p.m.

The parade begins on Willow Avenue in the Old City and winds to Jackson Avenue. The route turns south onto Gay Street, passing by a judges’ viewing stand at Krutch Park, and then turns onto Clinch Avenue to finish at the pet party on Market Square. The Fulton High School Band will march in this year’s parade.

Mardi Growl is Young-Williams Animal Center’s biggest fundraiser and is made possible through the support of event sponsors, including Old City Wine Bar, Radio Systems Corporation, City of Knoxville, Boehringer Ingelheim, Central Business Improvement District, Pilot Flying J, Visit Knoxville and more.

For more information about Mardi Growl, visit or or call 865-215-6599.

About Young-Williams Animal Center

Young-Williams Animal Center reminds the community to please spay and neuter your pets.

Young-Williams Animal Center takes in an average of 10,000 animals every year making it the official animal shelter for Knox County and the City of Knoxville. The center is a nonprofit organization, community-supported through public and private donations, that turns no animal away and is dedicated to the sheltering and placement of animals, general animal welfare, and public education of companion animal issues.

Young-Williams Animal Center is located off Sutherland Avenue at the entrance to John Tarleton Park at 3201 Division Street. Young-Williams Animal Village is located at 6400 Kingston Pike adjacent to Deane Hill Drive. Both locations are open seven days a week from noon-6 p.m.

For more information about Young-Williams Animal Center, including detailed driving directions, call 865-215-6599 or visit

For more information:
Courtney Kliman
Young-Williams Animal Center