Arts & Life, Events

Corgis storm the beach to celebrate Fall Corgi Beach Day

Swaths of exuberant corgis clumsily stumbled over heaps of sand at the Huntington Dog Beach Saturday to celebrate the 2018 Fall Corgi Beach Day.

A sea of corgis of all shapes and sizes, along with corgi enthusiasts, could be seen a half a mile up and down the coast of the foggy beach.

Kelly McLemore, who founded the Socal Corgi Beach Nation with her husband Dan, started the corgi beach days in an attempt to find corgi friends for her dog, Mr. Pickles. The event began with only 15 people in the fall of 2012.

“From 15 people to 1,500, it has grown crazy in the past few years,” Kelly said. “We didn’t have vendors before. [Now], we have vendors and food trucks.”

SoCal Corgi Beach Nation has been hosting the beach day at Huntington Dog Beach for years and has drawn in a record-breaking 1,200 corgis for the event.

“I think they are huge on social media … so people want to be around them,” Kelly said. “They’re cute … big dogs with little legs.”

Owners proudly displayed their pets, some donning vibrant rocket ship costumes and others wearing rainbow tutus. While Corgis were the stars of the day, all pets, even unconventional ones, were invited to enjoy the day.

Gabi the goat, who traveled from Hemet, California with her owner Jennifer Inman, could not escape the reach of excited attendees waiting for a selfie.

Events at the Corgi Beach Day included a limbo contest, a Halloween costume contest and a contest for the corgi with the best “momo,” the Japanese word for corgi butt.

The Halloween contest, arguably one of the most popular contests of the day, had Corgis lined up like runway models as thrilled audience members cheered on to select the most stylish dog.

Abel Nuñez and his dog Benji, who sported a Speed Racer costume, competed against a horde of costumed corgis to claim best dressed. This is their second time coming in first for a Corgi costume contest.

“I knew Speed Racer for a long time,” said Nuñez, who won first place in the costume contest at the SoCal Corgi Nationals. “The car is very iconic, so I wanted to try to do it. It [would’ve been] funny if [Benji] did the same pose as Speed Racer.”

The event was sponsored by ZippyPaws dog toys and pet store chain Healthy Spot, who has supported the Corgi Beach Days for the past two years.

“We love the Corgi Nation,” said Meredith Carruthers, community marketing assistant for Healthy Spot. “They’re so much fun to work with … but also we want to help every dog. We want to give them the best products.”

Healthy Spot, along with a myriad of other vendors and food trucks, set up shop on the sand to sell various corgi memorabilia such as corgi carrying totes and plushies. The Healthy Spot Flea market donated 100 percent of its proceeds to Queen’s Best, the self-proclaimed “stumpy dog rescue,” for corgis with developmental and behavioral issues.

The official beach day concluded at 3 p.m. but stragglers could still be seen running along the beach and playing with their furry friends.

Others decided that after a long day of playing ball, it was time to leave. Nancy Quam-Wickham, a history professor at Long Beach State who came with her dog Zephyr, said she plans on coming back to the beach day next year.

“As long as [Zephyr] is with me, we’ll come,” Quam-Wickham said.

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