"Woofgang Pup," dressed as famous chef Wolfgang Puck, won the best-dressed award.
More than 700 happy dogs and even more humans packed downtown Saturday for the fifth annual Mardi Growl parade and festival. Folks from the city of Knoxville’s special events office said this was the largest Mardi Growl to date. This was due partly, no doubt, to the beautiful weather.
I don’t think there was a single breed of canine that was not represented in the crowd. And I just can’t believe how responsible most of the dog owners were about picking up after their pooches. And the dogs themselves were very well-behaved, displaying few hostilities toward one another. Way to go, folks!
Mardi Growl was presented by the City of Knoxville and Friends of Young-Williams Animal Center, and event sponsors included PetSafe; Hill’s Pet Nutrition; Merial’s HeartGuard Plus and FrontLine Plus; WBIR-TV; B97.5; Knoxville News Sentinel; PETCO Animal Supplies/PETCO Foundation; 24PetWatch/Petango Store; Enrichment Federal Credit Union; and Erie Insurance. Money raised from entry fees benefited Young-Williams Animal Center, the official animal shelter for Knoxville and Knox County.
OK. The photos:
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, left, was grand marshal of the Mardi Growl Parade. She rode with her grandchildren Jada and Silas, and her granddog, Rosco.
The Westie Rescue of Tennessee had a special section of the parade dedicated to the adorable West Highland White Terriers (Westies).
These little dogs are so adorable!
If my cat would let me . . .
The biggest section of the parade was for "naked dogs!"
Meanwhile, over at the judges' stand, judge Erin Donovan of WBIR-TV, was coaxing her own dog, Grady, to pose for a photo.
Among the other judges were County Commissioner Mike Brown, left, and City Councilman Duane Grieve.
Probably the most knowledgeable of the judges: Dr. Robert DeNovo, associate dean of the Dept. of Small Animal Clinical Sciences of the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and a Young-Williams board member.
The event packed Market Square and Gay Street. Here's Market Square.
Golden retrievers always look happy, don't they? And they look good in Mardi Gras colors!
Tulle always provides an elegant look.
Harley Davidson dog
Pretty in pink pitbull
Some of the people got dressed up, too. Here is Hailey McLaughlin decked out for St. Patty's Day.
The Old City Buskers, performing at the Bill Lyons Pavilion on Market Square, kept everyone's spirits high.
"Seven-and-a half pounds of lion," is how this dog's owner described his costume!
This dog was "all Vol."
Hahaha! This fellow was dressed as "The Volunteer" - the UT frontiersman mascot who runs out carrying a rifle at UT games.
This dog clearly is a marketer!
So is this one. How cute! Call Young-Williams to adopt.
This dog is marketing his owner. The sweater says, "Mommy's single!"
Barbara, a Young-Williams volunteer, holds Hope, left, and Grace. The 7-year-olds need to be adopted together.
Lauren Christ of Moxley Carmichael with her doggie, Chloe, who came from Young-Williams Animal Center, a great Moxley Carmichael client.
Here is Lauren's other dog, Pez, also from Young-Williams. He was bucking the trend by wearing University of Alabama attire.
Meanwhile, back in the mainstream, Layla won the prize for "best Volunteer spirit." Her "grandmother," Brenda Stegall is holding her. (Layla lives downstairs from Alan and me. She's making the building proud!)
Perhaps because of the radio sponsor, bee costumes are always popular.
Here is a little bee.
Here is a Cookie Monster.
Cute in blue
My friend Drew Starke with Snoopy
Moxley Carmichael's Erica Beck with Maya
This dog was ready for a trip to the beach.
What a pretty girl!
Butterflies were popular.
Camo dog. Even carrying a helmet.
Mardi Gras colors: very appropriate
The folks at Rita's Italian Ice were passing out treats for dogs and humans on the spring-like afternoon. Love those little dog bones!
All the dog-friendly patios were full. This was taken at 31 Bistro.
A pooped dog and his people take a break at Soccer Taco.
This was the scene at Blue Coast Burrito.
Lots of dogs were visiting Cafe Four.
Meanwhile, over at Cocoa Moon. . .
Waiting patiently at Latitude 35.
Enjoying a Lickety Stik treat at Oodles. PetSafe folks were passing out samples of the new product. PetSafe also is a favorite Moxley Carmichael client.
Relaxing at Trio Cafe.
A perfect spot at Tomato Head!
Waiting for Mom to check her device at Marble Slab.
The famous Little Brown Dog, the survivor of a horrible abuse case, is healthy and happy now with her new owner. She was the grand marshal of the Mardi Growl Parade last year.
Dianna Glandon, CEO of Above the Rest Balloons and Event Designs, was test-marketing her new balloon dogs. Granddaughter, Emma, helped her.
The winners of the dog-owner look-alike contest!
Yes, a cat! Calico-lover Sarah LaVallee poses with the mascot for Happy Paws Kitten Rescue.