Annual Mardi Growl parade brings excitement for spectators, raises money for Young Williams Animal Center

The 10th annual Mardi Growl parade was held on Saturday, March 4 in downtown Knoxville.

It was a dog lover’s dream come true as many locals celebrated Mardi Gras with the 10th annual Mardi Growl parade on Saturday, March 4.

While many attendees were excited to enjoy the many dogs dressed in amusing costumes, there was more to this event than just parading dogs. Mardi Growl was hosted by the Young Williams Animals Center. The goal of this event was to help fundraise enough money to keep the Young Williams Animals Center to continue their services to about 12,000 animals.

The parade started on Willow Ave. at 11 a.m. with the street filled with hundreds of decorated dogs and was led by Fulton High School’s marching band through the Old City. Hundreds of spectators waited with anticipation as the band led the parade to Gay Street. The Grand Marshall was in a red convertible, waving to the crowd with Smokey the dog as the other guest celebrity.

Many dogs were dressed in Mardi Gras colored tutus and boas. Some dogs were spray painted hot pink while another one’s body was covered in boas, leaving only the legs and head to show.

Dog owners had the chance to compete in the category of their choosing: ‘Best Dawg Pack,’ ‘Best Couple,’ ‘Best Vol Spirit’ and ‘Best Naked Dog.’

After revealing the winners of the categories, Market Square was open for all attendees with over 60 vendors. Each vending station catered to a dog’s needs. Rescue centers were also set up.

 

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Images by Sage Davis