Downtown blog: Mardi Growl & more

Susan EspirituDowntown, Our Town Neighbors

Downtown Knoxville streets filled with beads, boas and barks on Saturday, March 4, for Young-Williams Animal Center’s 16th annual Mardi Growl Pet Parade & Festival.

The event benefits the animal shelter for Knoxville and Knox County and the more than 11,000 animals it takes in annually.

Mardi Growl, presented by Merchants of Beer, featured a pet-friendly parade from the Old City to World’s Fair Park, where vendors, Young-Williams Animal Center’s Spay Shuttle, live music and more awaited.

Fire House Dog

“There’s no other celebration like Mardi Growl in East Tennessee!” says Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams. “Not only is it fun for pets and their people, but it is also an excellent opportunity to learn more and contribute to our lifesaving efforts.

The Lion King

“We are so appreciative of the community’s continued support of Mardi Growl and our shelter, which allows us to care for the thousands of animals and individuals who need our help annually.”

Attendees participated in pet costume contests, enjoyed food from local trucks and browsed more than 50 booths at the festival. Mardi Growl is Young-Williams Animal Center’s largest fundraiser.

McClung Museum on Circle Park, University of Tennessee

Homegoings and remembrance

Frank H. McClung Museum presents a screening of the documentary Homegoings on Thursday, March 9, at 6 p.m. Filmed at Owens Funeral Home in New York City’s Harlem district, Homegoings takes a look at undertaking in the black community where there is tradition, history and celebration surrounding the services.

The film will be preceded by light snacks and activities. After the movie, stick around for a discussion led by Dr. Robert Bland from UT’s history department and multicultural student life’s peer educators. Watch the trailer. This program is being presented in conjunction with the exhibition, The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Garden Ornaments and Stonework, which is on view through Sunday, May 14, at the McClung Museum.


First Friday happenings are detailed here, including exhibitions, music, performances, culinary arts, public art, and more! Be on the lookout for the ArtWalk flags outside of participating downtown First Friday venues!

Book Club at Lawson McGhee Library is Monday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m. discussing The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan.

Family Fun Day at Knoxville Museum of Art is Saturday, March 18, from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Info here.

Artists Grants: Are you an artist living full-time in the City of Knoxville? You may qualify for an American Rescue Plan Grant made available through the Arts & Culture Alliance. Awards range from $500 to $15,000. Info: Liza Zenni, executive director of the Arts & Culture Alliance or download guidelines and application at Deadline for applications is Sunday, April 16.

Elections: Info (deadlines and such) for upcoming city council races: here.

Stadium: Keep up with the downtown baseball stadium here. For FAQs, go to

n Espiritu is the ultimate optimist who wants to share amusing, uplifting, optimistic and entertaining stories from your neighbors and youth! Send them to [email protected]

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