Ocean Beach goes to the dogs as beloved corgi confab returns


On a bright and sunny Saturday morning at Ocean Beach an unexpected sound echoed above the waves.

High-pitched, playful barks.

It was San Francisco’s twice yearly Corgi Con, the first held since 2019 after pandemic postponements, and hundreds of corgis and their humans came to enjoy a day among their friends, running around in costumes, baseball caps and Warriors jerseys, their distinctive rear ends wiggling .

The event — beloved by owners and fans of the corgi, well-known as Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite breed — featured several events, including a race, an obstacle course and a costume contest. The canine confab put smiles on everyone’s faces as they met new friends and snapped pictures of the best-dressed pups.

Morgan Zablocki and Alli Jones, attending their first Corgi Con, wore matching bright aqua blue Hawaiian shirts with their corgi, Perry.

Hundreds of corgi owners and lovers gather at Corgi Con on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, June 18, 2022.

Hundreds of corgi owners and lovers gather at Corgi Con on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, June 18, 2022.

Sabrina Sellers/Special to the Chronicle

“There are so many corgis here, you want to make sure you can easily spot which one is yours,” said Jones, as she watched Perry sprint towards the ocean with the other pups as fast as their short legs would let them.

Higher up on the beach, dozens lined up to take a picture with the most famous pup in attendance — YouTube and Instagram sensation Gatsby the Corgi — who sat calmly as he posed with hundreds of fans over the day.

Amanda Rodriguez, who has been a fan of Gatsby for about five years, bought just about every piece of Gatsby themed merchandise available as she waited in line — a plush toy, aprons, a tote bag and more.

To her, Gatsby and his owner Ryen Lung, who live in the Bay Area, have been an inspiration for how to properly care for the beloved breed.

“It’s been really great to see someone from the local community showingcasing how to take such good care of a corgi,” Rodriguez said. Her partner Emile added that they were fans of Gatsby before getting their own corgi, Sir Tonka Reyes III, who is 2.

Courtney Swope poses for a photo with a group of costumed corgis at Corgi Con, held June 18, 2022 on Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Courtney Swope poses for a photo with a group of costumed corgis at Corgi Con, held June 18, 2022 on Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Sabrina Sellers/Special to the Chronicle

“They really helped us learn and know what we were getting into when we got our corgi,” he said.

For those with furry friends, there were several booths set up with local treats and accessories to spoil their pups with.

One booth, the San Francisco based Pet Wants shop, sold a particularly unique offering — a beer for dogs.

“Don’t worry, they’re non-alcoholic,” said Aden Berkeley, whose mom Christine Anuszkiewicz owns the shop. The beverages, whose flavors included chicken broth, beef broth and peanut butter, featured playful names like “IPA Lot in the Yard” and “Mailman Malt Licker.”

Samantha and Elden Ostrea bought the peanut butter variety for their corgi, Grizz Lee. He was a little skeptical of it at first, perhaps expecting his regular water, but soon went back for more.

“It looked so funny,” Samantha said, as Elden poured the drink from the can into Grizz Lee’s dog bowl. “It was like, dog beer? We have to have that.”

At noon, the corgis and their humans gathered — or attempted to gather, as only a small fraction made it over — for a delightfully chaotic group photo.

An attendee at Corgi Con sports a corgi themed tote bag from Pretzel's Pupwear in San Francisco.

An attendee at Corgi Con sports a corgi themed tote bag from Pretzel’s Pupwear in San Francisco.

Sabrina Sellers/Special to the Chronicle

Just afterward, over a hundred people crowded around to watch the dogs run through an obstacle course — dubbed Corgi Ninja Warrior — cheering enthusiastically as the dogs leapt over beams and through hoops, rooting them on if they stumbled.

Some in attendance didn’t have dogs at all, but couldn’t pass up the chance to see hundreds of corgis in one place.

Andrew Magie, a self-described corgi enthusiast, “dragged” three of his friends along with him to enjoy the day.

“I’ve been obsessed with corgis my whole life,” he said, gesturing to his t-shirt, which featured the side profile of a corgi with an arrow pointing to the dog’s rear characteristic along with the word “butt.”

He had been to Corgi Beach Day in Southern California when he lived there, he said, but this was his first Corgi Con since moving to the “heaven of Northern California.”

“I couldn’t miss this,” he said.

Danielle Echeverria is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: danielle.echeverria@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @DanielleEchev

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