Hundreds of puppers and their people will take to the streets of downtown Knoxville Saturday, March 3, for the 11th annual Young-Williams Animal Center’s Mardi Growl Parade and Festival, presented by Old City Wine Bar.


The event begins with a parade of canines festooned in all manner of costumes, starting at Willow Avenue at 11 a.m. The route follows Willow to Central Street, then turns left on Jackson Avenue, left on Gay Street, right onto Clinch Avenue, and right onto Market Street. The festival portion of the event, featuring dozens of vendors, including animal rescue groups, continues until 3 p.m. in Market Square and the Krutch Park Extension.


Temporary no-parking zones and road closures will affect the staging areas, parade route and festival zone.


No-parking zones begin at 6 a.m. on Willow Avenue, Market Street and Union Avenue. Starting at 9 a.m., there will be temporary no parking on the parade route, which includes portions of Gay Street, Jackson Avenue between Central and Gay, Central between Jackson and Willow, and Clinch between State Street and Walnut Street.


Willow Avenue between Central and Patton will be closed to traffic 7 a.m. to noon. Market Street between Union and Clinch, and Union between Walnut and Gay, will be closed 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gay Street between Depot and Church will be closed from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.


In addition to the parade and festival, several downtown restaurants, bars, and shops are offering Cajun-themed specials during Mardi Growl Cajun Crawl, daily through Saturday. More details are available at