Tour de Corgi brings corgi fans, rescues together

Hailee Stegall

Waffles tilts his head at the sound of the camera shutter while at the Tour De Corgi. Tour De Corgi is an annual gathering of Corgi’s and their owners who paraded around Old Town Fort Collins Colorado Oct. 2. (Garrett Mogel | The Collegian)
Waffles tilts his head at the sound of the camera shutter while at the Tour de Corgi on Oct. 2. Tour de Corgi is an annual gathering of corgis and their owners who parade around Old Town, Fort Collins. (Garrett Mogel | The Collegian)

Tour de Corgi, one of Fort Collins’ most popular events, returned this past weekend to the streets of Old Town. Last year, the event was held entirely online.

For the seventh year, corgi owners from all over the country flocked to Civic Center Park with their furry friends to socialize with other corgi enthusiasts and participate in the costume parade that draws large groups of spectators yearly.

Tour de Corgi’s roots are in Fort Collins through and through. According to the official event website, founder Tracy Stewart saw that corgi events were taking place throughout the country and decided to hold her own.

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s based on the Fort Collins tradition of Tour de Fat, a costumed bicycle ride through Old Town held annually by New Belgium Brewing Company.

Owners of a bumblebee costume-clad corgi named Bean participated for the first time this year in the parade instead of as attendees.

One of Bean’s owners, Jay, who only provided their first name, said, “I look at them, and they make me happy because they’re always kind of smiling. … They’re just so sweet.”

“They just have such big personalities too, it’s impossible for them to not be funny at any given moment,” Ronnie, also one of Bean’s owners who only provided their first name, added.

In addition to the four-legged festivities, Tour de Corgi is also a fundraiser for a number of animal-focused local charities.

In past years, there has been a live costume contest, as many participants dress up their dogs for the event. This year, however, the contest was held on Instagram via the hashtag #TourdeCorgi2021, following last year’s virtual precedent.

Presently, the pup with the most votes is a Pembroke Welsh corgi named Snacks, who donned a homemade cowboy costume.  Jorey, one of Snacks’ owners who did not provide their first name, said what makes Tour de Corgi so special is that, “I feel like corgi people get so excited about any dog but especially other corgis, so it’s just a good day for everyone to get overwhelmed with cuteness and pet a bunch of very fluffy dogs.”

This is Snacks’ second time participating in Tour de Corgi, his first time being when he was just 10 1/2 weeks old. Snacks can be found on his Instagram page @snacksyboi.

In addition to the four-legged festivities, Tour de Corgi is also a fundraiser for a number of animal-focused local charities. This year, the beneficiaries were 4 Paws Pet Pantry, Colorado Corgis and Friends rescue and Wyoming Dachshund and Corgi Rescue.

4 Paws was founded in 2009 by April Castillon and donated roughly 15 million pounds of food in the 11 years it’s been running. They collect treats, food and pet supplies from community intake and donate them to those in need, including those who have been displaced by Colorado’s various natural disasters over the years.

For example, during the Poudre Canyon Flood and other floods in the state this past summer, 4 Paws emptied their pantry four times, donating between 20 and 30 thousand pounds of food.

“It’s big for us to be able to help our community and anybody that comes in,” 4 Paws volunteer Joe Rocha said. “We want to help them. We want to make sure that their animals are fed and the people are taken care of.”

The pantry is entirely volunteer-based and is open six days a week. If you want to get involved with 4 Paws Pet Pantry, you can sign up to volunteer at their website or in person, located at 328 S. Link Lane. 

Hailee Stegall can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @haileenstegall.