February 4, 2008 - With Smokey IX, the University of Tennessee’s blue tick coonhound mascot leading the way in a red convertible, over 350 dogs took to the streets of downtown Knoxville on Saturday for the first-ever Mardi Growl Dog Parade.
The costume parade for dogs and their owners kicked off at 10 a.m. on Market Square and ended at the future site of the City of Knoxville’s new downtown dog park on the southeastern corner of Summit Hill Drive and Central Avenue.
The event aimed to raise awareness of the new dog park and proceeds will go to support adoption efforts of the Young-Williams Animal Center.
Smokey, both the coonhound and the costumed version, served as grand marshal for the parade.
At the conclusion of the parade a royal court was selected from dogs the judges chose as “Best in Show,” “Mr. Congeniality,” “Ms. Congeniality,” “Most Spirited,” “Most Volunteer Spirit” and “Best Costume.”
The prestigious “Naked Dog Award” also went to a non-costumed dog along with a handsome “Naked Dog Award Trophy.”
The Mardi Growl Dog Parade was presented by PetSafe Village and Invisible Fence Brand and was produced by the City of Knoxville.
The city plans to make this an annual event.