Mardi Growl 2019, presented by Merchants of Beer, 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 9,000 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.
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 Visit downtownknoxville.org for more information.
Parade participants can register at mardigrowl.org 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 12:30 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.
For more information about Mardi Growl, visit mardigrowl.org