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Mardi Growl: Annual ‘woof-filled’ event set

Special Photo: Locust Grove resident, Janis Smith, and her pooch participated in the 2011 “Mardi Growl.” The annual event features dogs and their owners dressed in “Mardi Gras” attire as they parade through downtown Locust Grove.

Special Photo: Locust Grove resident, Janis Smith, and her pooch participated in the 2011 “Mardi Growl.” The annual event features dogs and their owners dressed in “Mardi Gras” attire as they parade through downtown Locust Grove.

Canines from throughout the Southern Crescent area, soon will be strutting through downtown Locust Grove.

A Mardi Growl showcase is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, and will kick off with a parade of dogs and their owners, at 10 a.m., from the Locust Grove City Hall, to Trailhead Park on Cleveland Street.

Officials are registering dogs and their owners, now, who are interested in taking part in the affair. The event has a New Orleans theme, featuring a contest for dogs, along with other festivities, said Linda Hutchison, Locust Grove Downtown Development coordinator.

“Last year, we had 63 dogs ... This year, we would like to double the amount of participation,” said Hutchison.

There are six categories for the dog contest: “Owner Pet, Look Alike;” “Best Costume;” “Best Personality;” “Best Team Spirit;” “Most Talented;” and “Best All-Around Dog.”

Winners in the various categories will take part in the Locust Grove Day Parade, set for April 28.

Other scheduled festivities include a Frisbee-and-dog demonstration, and Locust Grove police dog, “Ollie,” is expected to display his narcotics-detection abilities.

Hutchison said the purpose of Mardi Growl is to acquaint people with downtown Locust Grove and the city’s specialty boutiques.

“One of the highlights in last year’s competition was very unexpected,” said Hutchison. “During a vocal performance by Linda Bessellieu, one of the dogs [Tarmac] began to bark, at the appropriate time during the singing of “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window.” Needless to say, he won best all-around dog.”

The dog’s owner, Dr. Linda King, told everyone her dog never barks, added Hutchison.

“We are working to have dog trainers to help owners teach their dogs new tricks,” said Hutchison. Other professionals also are scheduled to be on hand, such as groomers, veterinarians and animal shelter officials, to discuss various information with dog owners.

Pets will be provided with fresh drinking water and doggie treats from various vendors, Hutchison added.

For more information, or to register, call (770) 692 -2320, or visit www.locustgrove-ga.gov.