Knoxville's Mardi Growl Set for Feb. 13

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville's Mardi Growl Set for Feb. 13

Posted: 01/25/2010
Animal lovers can get in the spirit of Carnivale at the third annual Knoxville's Mardi Growl Saturday, Feb. 13. The festivities begin with a costume parade for dogs and their owners starting at 11 a.m. at the corner of Summit Hill Drive and Central Avenue - home of the city's new PetSafe Downtown Dog Park. A festival on Market Square follows from noon-2 p.m.

Parade prizes will be awarded to dogs with the best costume, the most volunteer spirit and canine congeniality. There is also a pet owner look-alike prize and the "Naked Dog Award" for the most handsome non-costumed dog. Last year over 500 pets and their owners donned their Mardi Gras costumes and joined the celebration. 
"People have been asking us about Mardi Growl for months. We expect a great turnout for this year's event," said Tim Adams, executive director of Young-Williams Animal Center. "Last year we sheltered more animals than ever, so this fundraiser comes at an important time for the center." 

Knoxville's Mardi Growl is presented by PetSafe Village and Invisible Fence Brand and is produced by the City of Knoxville and Young Williams Animal Center. Other sponsors include Enrichment Federal Credit Union, WBIR-TV, the Knoxville News Sentinel and B97.5.

This year the parade will be led by a very special canine grand marshal, Charlie, accompanied by WBIR-TV reporter Erin Donovan. Charlie, a three-year-old St. Bernard mix, arrived at Young-Williams Animal Center late last year suffering from a major infection and heartworm disease. "The Young-Williams staff saw Charlie's potential and made him a special project dog," Adams said. "Today Charlie is on the road to recovery, and he will make someone the perfect pet." 
Mardi Growl festivities on Market Square feature services like $10 microchip identification and rabies vaccinations booths; pet-related product vendors; and animal rescue groups, among other attractions.

The first 750 Mardi Growl registrants will receive a doggie goody bag that includes at least one toy as well as a purple, green and yellow Mardi Growl boa for pet owners to wear during the parade.

Early registration is $10 per dog with completed entry forms received by 4:30 pm on Feb. 5. Late registration and on-site registration is $15. Event proceeds benefit Young-Williams Animal Center, the official animal shelter for the City of Knoxville and Knox County.

Pet owners who would like to remember a pet and support Young-Williams can have their deceased pet's name on "Rainbow Bridge" for $10. The memorial bridge will be located in Market Square on the day of the event.

For more information on Mardi Growl, to register for the parade or have a pet name included in the Rainbow Bridge memorial, visit or call 865-215-6599. Additional information is available at

The Young-Williams Animal Center is the official animal shelter for Knox County and the City of Knoxville. The center is a nonprofit organization that turns no animal away and is dedicated to the sheltering and placement of animals, general animal welfare, and public education of companion animal issues.

The Young-Williams Animal Center is conveniently located just off Sutherland Avenue at the entrance to John Tarleton Park at 3201 Division St. in Knoxville. The center is 8/10th of a mile from the intersection of Kingston Pike and Neyland Drive/Concord Street and offers animals for adoption Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.