Dogs, pet parents and animal enthusiasts will celebrate the 15th annual Mardi Growl Pet Parade & Festival in Downtown Knoxville on Saturday, March 5. The event benefits Young-Williams Animal Center, the official municipal shelter for the City of Knoxville and Knox County.
Mardi Growl 2022, presented by Merchants of Beer, will feature a pet-friendly parade from the Old City to World’s Fair Park, where vendors, Young-Williams Animal Center’s Spay Shuttle and other fun await.
“Mardi Growl will be back and better than ever for its 15th year!” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. “Attendees can expect to connect with pet resources in our community and see some adorable animals. Register to walk with your dog in the parade or plan to be a spectator, then join the festivities in World’s Fair Park with dozens of vendors and support the services we provide annually to more than 9,000 pets.”
The shelter’s Spay Shuttle will offer $10 rabies vaccines and free microchipping and other vaccines for dogs and cats. Attendees can book an appointment at mardigrowl.org/info. More than 60 vendors will participate in the festival, including food trucks, pet product retailers, rescue groups and more.
Day-of parade registration is $20 per dog and will be open 9-10:30 a.m. The registration booth will be located on Willow Avenue. Goody bags will be given to registered participants while supplies last. Dogs and their human handlers in the parade can compete in seven contests: Best Vol Spirit, Best Dawg Pack, Pet/Owner Look-a-like, Best Dog Couple, Most Unique Mixed Breed, Best Costume and Best Naked Dog. Information about the competitions is available at mardigrowl.org/register.
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 World’s Fair Park stage at 12:30 p.m.
The pet parade starts at 11 a.m. in the Old City and travels up Jackson Avenue to World’s Fair Park.
“Mardi Growl is a family favorite event here in Knoxville. I am so thankful for Young-Williams Animal Center, not only for organizing Mardi Growl, but for all they do in our city,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “We encourage everyone – with or without a pet – to stop by and support this exciting festival in Downtown Knoxville.”
Mardi Growl is Young-Williams Animal Center’s largest fundraiser and is made possible through the support of event sponsors, including: Merchants of Beer; Radio Systems Corporation; PetSafe; Invisible Fence Inc.; SportDOG, City of Knoxville; TIS Insurance Services, Inc.; River Dog Bakery; Pet Supplies Plus; Mark and Kristin Williams; Young, Williams & Ward Attorneys at Law; LeConte Title; All Occasions Party Rentals; Downtown Knoxville Alliance; Visit Knoxville; PAWZ Dog Services; Wavely; LHP Capital; Pet Treater; S&S Cafeterias; Village Vet Medical Center; Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union; PetWellClinic; UT Federal Credit Union; Harper Auto Square; Continental Pet Cremations; 865LIFE; Graduate Hotels; Knoxville Veterinary Medical Association; McGriff Insurance; Tim’s Fencing; and The Dog Wizard. Media sponsors include WBIR-TV Channel 10 and Star 102.1 FM.