Crowd of corgis march for safe communities, draw protests against corgi objectification
On Tuesday evening, corgis sparked unexpected controversy as St. Elmo’s neighborhood and community first responders gathered between Old Mountain Road and Tennessee Avenue to participate in National Night Out.
Annually, more than 16,000 other communities across the country participate in the neighborhood camaraderie-building event. It was started in 1984 in order to fight neighborhood crime and promote police-community partnerships.
And the evening includes a famous feature in its schedule each year: a corgi parade.
Chelsey Breedy-Oyer, president of the St. Elmo Neighborhood Association, said that she doesn't know what exactly inspired the neighborhood to host a corgi parade.
“I’ve lived in St. Elmo for almost six years, and the corgi parade has been going on longer than I’ve been here. There is a gentleman in the neighborhood named Bob Wright, and he organizes the corgi parade every year,” Breedy-Oyer said.
Thirty to fifty corgis, some in Halloween costumes, were spoiled with attention as they paraded down the street with their owners, surrounded by a large, cooing crowd.
“I think that this is the biggest corgi parade in the world actually—which is really funny. It definitely draws people in. I know there are people that drive hundreds of miles just to do the corgi parade,” Breedy-Oyer said.
But for a group of five locals, the event was an opportunity to make a stand— against corgi objectification. One protester, Geraldine Smithson, said her friends gathered together to resist the human judging of corgis.
“We are all about corgis. We love corgis and that’s why we are protesting tonight," Smithson said. "What we are against is the objectification of corgis which occurred in the first 30 minutes of this event. There was a corgi judging based off of their body types.”
Smithson held up a handmade sign that read “All corgi butts are created equal.”
“We are here to give corgis justice and to give them some humanity,” she said.
Samantha Kirk, another protester, added her two-cents: “It’s not everyday that you see a corgi parade happening. We are really passionate about this so we wanted to spread our message here.”