1326 Animals On Parade
July 11, 2014 1:22 AM   Subscribe

July 5, 2014: Anthrocon Fursuit Parade [~27m]. 1326 animals of various species and styles pass before your eyes.

The group photo shot in 3000px wide format.

The group photo shot in nearly 18,000px wide format.

Anthrocon is the world's largest furry fandom convention. This year, 5861 were official registered attendees. The Mayor of Pittsburgh declared July 5 2014 Anthrocon Day.

Furry conventions don't only involve parades. They also might feature fursuit dance competitons [~1h40m] and really excellent DJ sets for their nightly rave dance parties. (These are just two of many hours of DJs from the weekend.)

This is only a small part of a furcon weekend, but it's some of the most fun bits, easily available to share online.
posted by hippybear (31 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I liked the shark.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:40 AM on July 11, 2014

Oh for petes sake...have they no shame?
how dare they have so much fun.
you furries better not poop on my lawn.
posted by quazichimp at 2:42 AM on July 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

can I say 'eponysterical'? can I? can I?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:35 AM on July 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

From the part I watched, the shark was the most impractical, the octopus was neat, and a few really stood out, like I think it was an alien, and after it an owl? Interesting to me was how some of the costumes used padding to change limb shape, especially the front of the thighs, while others went full cartoon and a few were just half costumes with jeans sticking out below. And no two-person outfits in the section I watched, which surprised me.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:50 AM on July 11, 2014

And no two-person outfits in the section I watched, which surprised me.

The Pantomime Horse fetish fan convention is across town - while less well attended, it does have a higher prestige in the business community.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:54 AM on July 11, 2014

The half costumes are called "partials" and a lot of people choose them because they're considerably cheaper, easier to pack for flights, and far less exhausting to wear. Even with good ventilation, the amount of time anyone can spend in a full suit is limited by factors like dehydration and potential heat exhaustion. There is usually a "headless lounge" set up with water and fans, but if you want to dance the night away most full suits will be challenging.

I haven't seen too many two-person fursuits in general, I imagine the overall cost would be prohibitive for something you can only wear when you've got a friend around. A normal full suit can cost up to three or four thousand dollars depending on who makes it.

There are quadrupedal fursuits though.
posted by Feyala at 4:59 AM on July 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't envy the convention's security and social media staff having to handle the bomb threat this year, but fortunately, from what I hear, convention chair Dr. Samuel Conway was able to get the relevant information to the FBI before anything turned serious.

Still, it's a shame that this annual bit of fun would prompt such a threat to even be made in the first place.

On the good news side of things, I understand they raised over $32 thousand for the National Aviary this year.

Also, according to this news article, "On average, the convention pumps nearly $7 million into the local economy."
posted by radwolf76 at 5:19 AM on July 11, 2014


I have been HOPING somebody would make an Anthrocon post


so I could link to this, the awesomest funniest library outreach I have seen in recent memory.
posted by clavicle at 5:46 AM on July 11, 2014 [12 favorites]

Walking around downtown during the first week of July is always a little surreal here, like you've wandered into a scene from Roger Rabbit with cartoon characters and "normal" people all going about their business.
posted by octothorpe at 5:51 AM on July 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

I was amazed that they got everyone to mass together for those group photos and then saw the fox on the right. Too slow, buddy!

What a great photo at any rate. I wonder if anyone is wearing a red and white striped hat.
posted by Literaryhero at 5:53 AM on July 11, 2014

Watching that video while insomniac at 3 am was either a great or terrible idea, because I just woke up from an incredibly vivid dream of walking the hallways of a post-apocalyptic carnivalesque hotel and having to step around people in fur suits getting it on. They were not happy about letting me by but I was trying to get to my room, which kept receding around another corner.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:14 AM on July 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

There is usually a "headless lounge" set up with water and fans,

This is (a) very thoughtful and (b) a hilarious sentence. Awesome job, Anthrocon!
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:15 AM on July 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I wonder if anyone is wearing a red and white striped hat.

Check behind the raccoon.

Other fun finds: Deadpool w/fox ears, TF2's Blue Spy, a quartet of Sisters of Plenitude from Doctor Who, and some random guy in a conical rice paddy hat.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:17 AM on July 11, 2014

highlight: a pretty convincing Robbie Sinclair in front of the ginger Coca-Cola Polar Bear
posted by GrapeApiary at 6:23 AM on July 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

It might be just the circles I'm in, but the city of Pittsburgh (in particular, morning radio) has really moved on from abject horror at furries to almost adopting them as some of our own Pittsburgh family, albeit as the "slightly weird cousin."
posted by bfranklin at 6:24 AM on July 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh, and clavicle's library card is in the very back row.
posted by radwolf76 at 6:35 AM on July 11, 2014

I'm smelling a Mefi meetup next year.

posted by Poppa Bear at 6:44 AM on July 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Good God why do they hold the event in July?
posted by Lou Stuells at 8:06 AM on July 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

I love the huge photo so much. I'm just leaving it in open in tabs and meandering through it whenever I get bored with what I'm doing, losing myself in little details and visual insta-vignettes. Awesome.
posted by taz at 8:22 AM on July 11, 2014

Good God why do they hold the event in July?

I think the convention grew out of an informal picnic gathering that was growing in size and finally needed to become a formal, organized event due to size and popularity. Hence the summer date.

There are furry conventions nearly every weekend year-round someplace in the US, so once you have your weekend, you sort of have to keep your weekend.
posted by hippybear at 9:27 AM on July 11, 2014

Ugh, how come other people get to publicly display their sexually aberrant behavior in huge public events and I have to -- oh, whoops, I'll shut up now...
posted by Mooseli at 10:10 AM on July 11, 2014

sexually aberrant behavior

Please don't do this. There is, yes, a sexual element to furry, but the fandom does not define itself by that, and outsiders should try to learn enough about the fandom so that is not the defining element in their minds, either.
posted by hippybear at 10:14 AM on July 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

No, I think that's about right, bfranklin. In my circles, the response is just "Oh, hey, it's Anthrocon time again? Cool. Hope it doesn't get too warm for the suits." My perfectly conventional boss' perfectly conventional little girl has heard of Anthrocon and wanted to check it out, this year the scheduling didn't work but I believe she's been promised she can go visit some of the public events next year. Everyone I know has shared the library card hanging out at Anthrocon photo.

We're happy to have all of yinz, visiting furry folks. Welcome back home.

(Fun story: I used to be a clinic escort at the downtown Planned Parenthood, near the convention center. Our favorite Saturday morning passing-the-time game was 'try to guess what this weekend's convention is by the people we see coming and going in that general direction.' You guys made it really easy and we were super-happy to see you back. We also really dug the bikers. The level of pinkness on the Mary Kay conventioneers kinda freaked us out, though.)
posted by Stacey at 10:16 AM on July 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am so happy that all these people found each other. Wave your fox tail high!
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:47 AM on July 11, 2014

I kinda wish someone would setup a photo booth that did a 360 deg (or 3d? I'm not sure what you would call it) photo of some of the costumes just so I could see some more of the details.
posted by KirTakat at 10:58 AM on July 11, 2014

So that's where my sister was over the weekend of the 4th! Though she's probably not in the group pictures or anything; I think she sold her suit a couple years ago and, to my knowledge, hasn't got another one yet.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:59 AM on July 11, 2014

The walk-by reminds me of Dykes on Bikes leading Pride parades, or Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, leatherfolk, or drag queens. I think most folks are actually delighted by over-the-top self-presentation. We live in such restriction most of the time; festivals, costuming, being more intense than life, is good for us to see and for some of us, good to do.
posted by Dreidl at 12:22 PM on July 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

Over 1300 suits? I knew AC was one of the largest (the largest?) furry cons in the US but wow...that really puts it into perspective.

I'm also surprised at how quickly things have changed for furry cons in general - the fandom is so much more mainstream now. I've only been to a handful of cons over the years (AC not being one), but parades used to consist of far less suiters and I remember the people running the dance comps having to go around pleading to strangers/friends to participate in them. X3

Times have changed indeed.
posted by stubbehtail at 1:09 PM on July 11, 2014

Looks like great fun.

I can certainly understand the allure of a partial suit in the summer! There are partial suits with no fuzzy "pants" or feet, but why are there no complete suits with the wearer's face exposed and painted to look like the character? Painted face and a hood seems like the way to go.
You could wear an ice jacket or do homemade ice packs in a full body costume, but having something completely covering your face would be miserably hot.

Is it a thing not to expose your face at all?
posted by BlueHorse at 3:27 PM on July 11, 2014

A lot of the appeal of fursuits is the anonymity and the illusion of bringing a fantasy character to life. You can take a break from being Bob From Accounting and instead be a cute and cuddly squirrel for the weekend, freeing yourself from your socially constructed identity and expectations, escaping social phobias and anxiety about what people will think of you, etc. Exposing your face would change that dynamic, "ruining the magic" for some, and I think that's why the full masks are so popular.

You do sometimes see LARP-style use your own eyes masks (examples) or prosthetics (warning, uncanny valley ahead), but these are fairly rare. Folks wearing painted theatrical Cats costumes with leotards and yarn tails are also a staple at the conventions I've been to.

Many fursuits have fans in the head, and some fursuiters do carry ice packs or cooling vests, but most people just accept that heat is going to be an issue and suck it up in the name of creating an illusion. The ones I've known generally take breaks at least every hour to go cool down and rehydrate.
posted by Feyala at 4:19 PM on July 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've had a Buddhist practice for several years now and have been actively working on the whole all-compassionate, non-judgmental thing. And I credit MetaFilter to a much greater degree than I do my practice with having moved how I think of furries and furrydom from "LOL snark easy joke" to "people involved in an interesting subculture I'd like to know more about even though it doesn't call to me personally".

Thank you, MeFi and MeFites. Zero snark and full sincerity.
posted by Lexica at 9:35 PM on July 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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