Howl-O-Ween at the UT Gardens

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Halloween-themed Event for Pet Owners and Their Dogs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Gardens, Knoxville, is going to the dogs for a Howl-O-Ween Pooch Parade and Pet Expo. The event, now in its tenth year, is co-sponsored by the Gardens and the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and caters to dogs and dog lovers and will be held Sunday, October 22, from 1 to 5 p.m. in the UT Gardens located at 2518 Jacob Drive, Knoxville, TN.

Enjoy a costumed pet parade emceed by Erin Donovan. Judged categories include bad to the bone (scariest), funny bone (funniest), do(g) it yourself (homemade), pup culture (pop culture/character), and Judges’ Choice awards, including Bone-a-Fido (best in show). The event also features an expo of educational booths, pet businesses, and rescue groups. Various food trucks will be on hand for people wanting to purchase food. People are encouraged to participate in a food drive to benefit the Companion Animal Initiative of Tennessee (CAIT), an outreach program at the veterinary college that works to improve the lives of companion animals and reduce the homeless pet population in Tennessee by promoting humane education and spay/neuter initiatives.

The event is free to attend. Parade pre-registration is $10 per costume entry (can include multiple dogs as one costume). Parade participants can also register for $15 on the day of the event beginning at 1 p.m. Event t-shirts will also be available for purchase.

The parade begins at 2:30 p.m. and will be judged by Keith Carver, senior vice president and senior vice chancellor of the UT Institute of Agriculture, along with representatives from Hot 104.5, JTV, Zoo Knoxville, and Young-Williams Animal Center. This year the judge’s panel also includes Dorothy Collier, an AKC breeder and exhibitor of purebred dogs for over 50 years. She has been an AKC-licensed judge for 30 years and has judged major events in the United States, Europe, and South America including Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club. Collier also serves on the Westminster Kennel Club Board of Governors. Elizabeth Fletcher will also serve as a judge at this year’s Howl-O-Ween. Fletcher owns Keeper, a Bernese Mountain Dog who portrayed Meatball, the family dog of Mark Wahlberg, in Instant Family. Keeper is also the ProHeart dog and has several commercials and print advertisements under his belt. In 2018 and 2019 Keeper won best of breed at the national dog show in Philadelphia.

For additional information or to register please visit

The UT College of Veterinary Medicine and the UT Gardens are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture. Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

Media Contact

Sandra Harbison

College of Veterinary Medicine