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Weekend edition March 03, 2023 | Shannon Smith

News Roundup | Dogs, dogs, and more dogs

Here’s your weekly roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region.

Mardi Growl returns to Knoxville

Send in the dogs! The annual Mardi Growl pet parade and festival is back in downtown Knoxville on Saturday, March 4.

The highly-anticipated fundraiser for Young-Williams Animal Center is a time for dogs, dog owners, and dog lovers to take to the streets of Knoxville and strut their stuff. If you’re looking to pet hundreds of dogs, this is the place to be.

While the event itself is free, those walking in the parade must register. Saturday registration is from 9-10:30 a.m. on Willow Avenue and is $20 per pet. The parade starts at 11 and ends at the festival lawn of World’s Fair Park, where more than 50 vendors will be stationed.

Dogs and their human handlers in the parade can compete in five contests: Volunteer Spirit, Celebrity Look-alike, Leader of the Pack, Two of a Kind, and Life of the Paw-ty. Prizes also will be given to the Best in Show and Overall Top Scoring pet.

‘What’s the Big Idea? Pitch Competition’ Sunday night

Seven Knoxville entrepreneurs will take the stage on March 5 to pitch their ideas in the What’s the Big Idea? Pitch Competition hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.

The weekend-long event is an accelerator-style competition designed to inspire entrepreneurial action. The competition will bring together finalists for an intensive period of prototyping, community building, planning, incubation, and launching.

The winning idea, as determined by a panel of judges following the pitch competition, will be advanced to the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s CO.STARTER Program and will be eligible for $10,000 in prize money after completing the program.

Reserve your spot here to watch the live pitch event Sunday, March 5 at 6 p.m. at Scruffy City Hall in Downtown Knoxville.

Pinnacle Business Award winners to be announced next week

The Knoxville Chamber, in conjunction with Pinnacle Financial Partners, will announce the winners of the 2023 Pinnacle Business Awards on Tuesday, March 7.

Now in its 19th year, the annual Pinnacle Awards celebrate regional business excellence, honoring outstanding professionals in nine categories for their contributions to the greater Knoxville economy.

The free event will be held at the Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm and heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. Reserve your spot here.

Knox County to host Workforce Summit

Join Knox County and the Knoxville Chamber for the 2023 Workforce Summit on April 4 from 7:30 AM – 11:30 AM. During the summit, you will hear from local leaders and workforce experts to learn more about the resources available to you.

The free event will be held at Jackson Terminal and a continental breakfast will be provided. Reserve your spot here.


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