The Philadelphia outpost of Corgi Nation has done it again!
On Saturday June 25th, the joyous event that was the 12th annual Philly Corgi Picnic unfolded at Hibernia Park in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Among the record setting 200 families in attendance was my rover-ing reporter Ann Marie Brock and her talented photographer husband Chris Brock, who made the seven hour trek down from Massachusetts with their own spunky road trippers Bob Corgi and Lola in tow. (You may know their Corgis from their fairly famous Facebook page).
Today’s guest post is a travelogue of the trip, the fun, and the 2016 Philly picnic, thanks to the intrepid Ann Marie. Take it away, oh sister of the traveling Corgipants!
It was a corgtastic weekend for our family.
Because the picnic is a 7-hour drive from Massachusetts, we decided to leave on Thursday so that Bob and Lola would be well rested for Saturday. This is our second year attending. Last year, we opted to stay in a local campground and were plagued by heavy rain and high winds.
Fortune smiled on us in 2016, however, when our long time Corgi friends Liz and Steve invited us to stay in their home. Add another visitor from Arizona and five Corgis under one roof (our two plus the resident three), and you’ve got a recipe for a wonderful weekend!
Our arrival on Thursday was low key. We introduced the dogs to each other and they quickly became a relaxed pack. My Lola instantly fell in love with Bruiser. She immediately nuzzled his fur and before long they were wrestling in the living room. The dogs spent the weekend watering the lawn, barking at everyone who walked by, splashing in their kiddie pool and taking long naps on the patio.
We spent Friday exploring the area, with lunch at an outdoor café that allowed dogs, followed by a Corgi parade through the town. Later on, we opted for a fun dinner at home instead of attending the group meet-up at an off-leash dog park near the picnic site.
Then finally on Saturday, Picnic Day! We arrived early to claim a spot under the trees, as temps were expected to be in the 80’s. The first hour or so was all about connecting with friends and socializing the dogs. No shortage of hugs or fur in this group! People came from all over the US and at least one guest was from Canada. We become our own Corgi Camp with clusters of x-pens, canopies and chairs in the many shady areas.
If you’ve never attended the Philly Corgi Picnic, there is something for everyone and every dog; contests include hot dog eating (for the pups), musical hula-hoops, oldest and youngest corgi, biggest ears, fluffiest corgi and the always very popular costume contest.
From food planning to activities to clean up, the hard work of the planning committee is everywhere. It makes for a wonderful day when you can finally meet so many friends from social media and snuggle with adorable corgis, including a fluffy puppy who everyone wanted to hug, and a tri-colored puppy named Milo, who amused everybody with his mud puddle splashing.
The location in the park has plenty of shade as well as two covered pavilions; one for food and the other for silent auction of items donated by attendees. It was such fun to watch a few bidding wars surface over highly coveted items!
Each year a few vendors are permitted at the picnic, selling a variety of corgi embroidery gifts, healthy dog treats, and corgi wood crafts. This year my shop Creations by AnnieB, which specializes in Corgi clothing, represented too. I’m on Etsy at etsy.com/shop/CreationsbyAnnieB.
Because keeping our precious Corgis healthy is important, there was a free nail trimming service on hand, and a local veterinarian who gave a talk on holistic Corgi care.
Perenially popular are pet portraits from photographer Annmarie Young, who has a real knack for capturing the spirit of each dog. She gives the sitting fee to CorgiAid, and this year Annmarie donated $630. Wow! To date, the Philly Corgi Picnic’s fundraising efforts has delivered more than $26,000 for CorgiAid!
At the end of the day, exhausted pups and humans enjoyed a simple Saturday supper on the patio back at home.
Sunday was the final day of our trip, kicked off by Gus’s smile while he waited at our bedroom door for Bob and Lola to emerge. The Corgis spent the rest of the morning together, chasing birds and sniffing in the flowerbeds, while the humans enjoyed a breakfast of buttermilk pancakes and sausage.
Finally, it was time to pack up and say our sad good byes. Lola and her true love Bruiser had a final wrestling match before we began our journey home, but not before triple checking to make sure we had the right Corgis. Lola and Gus are doppelgangers and we kept getting them confused!
If you want to join the fun in 2017, mark your calendar for Saturday June 24 and visit the picnic website: PhillyCorgiPicnic.com.