I like to consider myself a pretty open person when it comes to conventions and new things (outside of food, i am a bit of a picky eater). for those that no me, i am a pretty frequent face at all the majority of the local conventions. I try to attend as many as possible. I also try to get out of state and attend some of the larger ones which are always a blast.
I am sure that in this modern day, most people know what furries are. (For the record i am not sure if calling someone a furry is offensive or not, so if it is please let me know.) These people who put on anthropomorphic costume have become a pretty well known thing, especially among the geek community. There are 3 or 4 kids (teenagers) who frequent the local conventions in their fur suits. I have to say that they seem to be pretty popular, especially among young kids. It is pretty obvious that they would be popular with young kids, they look like giant cartoon characters.
No matter the convention, these kids are always dancing it up to music and having a good time, which blows my mind cause it has to be 20 degrees hotter in that costume than the outside temperature, but they don’t let that bother them, although i am sure there are Fan’s and possible ice packs you can sew into those suits. Needless to say i was a bit curious about the large following that this seems to draw. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has the biggest drawing of furrys every summer; AnthroCon they call it.
Like i said, i have never been to AnthroCon, but a handful of friends were going so i decided that i might as well check it out, so i jumped in the car and went to check it out. I must say it was a nice day for them to be out, not too hot and well if it was cold, i doubt it would slow them down much, if at all.
When i got there, it was surprising how empty the venue seemed, i had heard stories about how many of these people, showed up for this specific event, though my friend informed me that these individuals like to party and most of them were probably still sleeping off the previous nights bar crawl. The second thing that i noticed while getting there was the line. it took me over a half an hour to get through the line to pay for my pass. It was frustrating, but there were a lot of people there saturday morning, and there wasn’t enough staff to keep up with the demand. It happens, i have been to conventions where the lines were hours long (Cleveland Wizard world line was Insanely long).
After the anxious 30 min wait, i slapped down my $30 and got my freshly printed Badge with my name, and took a walk through the front doors and into the main venue. The venue (David L. Lawrence Convention Center) is a huge Venue, its big and it can hold a lot of people. being the casual observer, i started walking around the convention, looking at the wares for sale. I have to admit i was surprised with the amount of casual fans that were at this convention. I also was amused by the number of people walking around with ears and tails.
There were people who had partial suits (Heads and hands, and sometimes feet, while others were in the full suit. Head, hands, body, feet.) but there were still more in pants and a shirt, no tails or ears. While walking, there were a lot of people selling everyday geeky items, purses, backpacks, occasional toy weapons. I should have expected that they would have non furry stuff. I am sure the fur people like their zelda and Dr who just as much as they like their Anthro wears.
One other thing that i noticed at this con was the number of Adult themed art and games. I realize that this convention does have a more adultcentric feel, but i guess it was just a bit of a surprise the number of adult items they had. Now don’t think that there was just nudity spilling out, most of it was behind binders and folders that were labeled 18+. There was a vast range in ages of the people attending, and the Artists and sellers do a good job of at least keeping it discreet from the younger audience.
The second show room had even more artists than the main room, and every one of these artists were amazing. I was blown away with how skilled they all were. Most of them had some subtle differences in they way their art was, but no matter who you bought art from would have disappointed. This isn’t me saying oh i expected to see bad art, but me talking about how big of a draw of talent Anthrocon pulled in. You could have spent hundreds on special badges and art pieces and not been disappointed.
As they day wore on, more and more of the main attraction appeared, i even ran into two at a bar drinking, which was a sight. Watching someone in their costume drinking a beer through the costume is quite a sight, not good or bad, but just different. They didn’t drop character at all and that was impressive. Around 1 or 2 they had a parade of all the people in costume, and i honestly was blown away by how many there were. I think the final count was 3000 for the event, but the parade was like an hour long, the parade just never ended.
I ended up calling it a day after the parade. I must say i was incredibly impressed with the venue and all the people in their suits, those suits are insanely intricate and look amazing. The staff was incredibly friendly, and they seemed to be having just as much fun as the people in their fur suits. People out there like to judge based on what they have heard from others and what they saw on C.S.I that one time, but i must say they were the most professional and friendly people i have met, and i will more than likely attend next year. I will be cosplaying as Casual con patron #3
-Photo by Anthrocon.org