With Halloween finally arriving, the Annual Fort Collins Pug Play Group Halloween Parade fit right in to the spooky month of October. Snorting pugs of all different ages and colors walked through Old Town dressed in costumes Sunday with their owners, some of which were dressed up themselves.
Pugs and pug lovers were to meet in Oak Street Plaza in Old Town at 2 p.m. to begin the parade through the streets, though the event had a slow start and the crowd began to truly funnel in around 2:15. Even then, pug-fans who saw the event on Facebook outnumbered the actual pugs themselves.
After the group of about 30 pups and their owners solidified, the group took off down the streets of Fort Collins. The parade funneled to Laporte Avenue, crossed College Avenue and walked back south to Mountain Avenue where they turned to took a lap around Old Town Square before heading back to Oak Street Plaza.
The event is less wide-spread and well known than Tour de Corgi, although, just as cute, which caused street go-ers enjoying their Sunday in Old Town to be even more taken aback by this gang of pups than other dog-oriented events in Fort Collins. Wait-staff on the patios of restaurants gasped and pointed out their favorite puppies. A woman inside the Rec Room was nearly brought to tears by the sight of a wrinkly dog dressed up as a cowboy. Four women having brunch outside of Starbucks screamed in confusion and pulled out their phones to take photos as the loafy dogs huffed by their ankles.
“Wow, we chose are really magical time to talk down this street,” said a man to his group of friends who stumbled upon the parade accidentally.
The pugs came in a variation of outfits that slid across their furry backs and disguised their floppy ears. Several Superman dogs made an appearance. One Chihuahua decided to join the group dressed as a spider, its little body drowning in all of its spidey legs. A tiny ash-colored pug puppy had no costume because his elementary school-aged owner didn’t like the idea, but he made up for it by naming the wiggly puppy Pikachu. One dog was dressed as Princess Leia, complete with the buns. She was quickly found by a 5-month-old puppy dressed as Yoda, and they greeted each other by touching noses.
Kim Nelson and Jeff Buraglio are apart of the Fort Collins Pug Play Group that put on Sunday’s parade. Nelson and Buraglio took over the Facebook group about a year ago after inheriting it from previous members. In past years, attendance has been slim, according to Burgalio, but this year the number of dogs has almost doubled due to Nelson posting the event on Reddit.
“There’s lots of new faces, lots of new pugs,” Buraglio said. “It’s great. This is the most people we’ve ever had.”
Nelson and Burglio both dressed up as skeletons for the event with complete face paint and boney outfits to match their pug Yoshi who also wore a skeleton outfit. The year before Nelson and Burglio dressed up as Cowboys and Yoshi wore a bucking bronco outfit, and the year before the three dressed as superheroes.
Colorado State student Derek Slusser attended the even pugless but with a group of friends.
“It was pretty neat,” Slusser said. “The big bulldog was my favorite though. This was probably the second best thing about my weekend.”
After the event ended, owners posted on the Annual Halloween Pug Parade! Facebook page to share photos from the event and thank everyone for coming.
Attendee Ashley Craft posted photos of Davey, her puppy pug that she dressed as Yoda.
“He’s very tired now,” Craft said. “There was another puppy. Watching two pug puppies play is pretty great.”
The Fort Collins Pug Play Group can be found on Facebook. The mission statement reads, “To enjoy the awesomeness that is THE PUG” though the page also welcomes dogs or other breeds to come and play.