Knoxville’s Mardi Growl 2011

A continual drizzle Saturday could not dampen the spirits of hundreds of dogs and their people at the 4th annual Mardi Growl dog parade in downtown Knoxville. Quite the contrary. Dogs and humans in very size, shape and variety were unfailingly cheerful as they crowded Gay Street for the parade and Market Square for the after-party for the charitable event that raises money for Young-Williams Animal Center.

Mardi Growl is produced by Young-Williams and the city of Knoxville and is sponsored by PetSafe Village, Invisible Fence brand, WBIR-TV, the News Sentinel and B97.5.

Here’s how it goes. The parade steps off from PetSafe Downtown Dog Park at the corner of Summit Hill Drive and Central, heads west on Summit Hill and then turns south on Gay Street, pausing before the viewing stand at the Krutch Park extension, before ending at Market Square which is filled with vendor booths offering all manner of dog-related items. The Old City Buskers provide New Orleans-style jazz from the stage of the William Lyons Pavilion as the patios of the downtown restaurants fill with dogs and their owners. I was extremely impressed by the lack of a mess. It seems that every year these dog owners do a better job of picking up after their charges. Great job, folks.