If you and your kids are looking for something fun and unique to do this weekend, look no further. From Thursday, June 29 through Sunday, July 2, Anthrocon 2017 is once again visiting Pittsburgh for their annual convention. Here’s why you and your kids should consider checking it out.
Anthrocon is the largest furry convention in the world. Every summer since 2006, it calls Pittsburgh home. Most attendees are from Pennsylvania and neighboring states, but you’ll meet people from nearly every state and dozens of foreign countries. And as far as age ranges go, Anthrocon attracts a wide ranging audience. All age groups are represented; the majority are in their 20s, and more than 800 are teenagers.
In 2016, more than 7,300 attendees generated just over $7 million in revenue for our fair city – over one weekend. As if that weren’t cool enough, Anthrocon always selects a local charity that is featured throughout the convention. This year, it’s Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary. They have raised more than $240,000 for various charities since the organization was founded in 1997.
What Is a Furry?
A “furry” is an adult fan of humanized animals who may or may not wear an animal-inspired costume. The furry costumes, or fursuits, depicted at Anthrocon are both real and mythological, ranging from wolves, tigers, and dragons to animal hybrids.
Still curious? Read this brochure about furries.
Why You Should Go
One, because it’s fun for your kids. They love meeting their favorite mascots and Disney characters. Why not let them get pictures with Gen. Talon, PeterCat, or Tigerwolf? If you’re concerned about safety, don’t be. All children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by their parents at all times – older siblings or aunts/uncles can’t even take them. Kids 12 and under also get in free – bonus! If your child is between 13 and 17, they can go by themselves or with a friend, but they need your signed permission (complete with notary seal if they go alone) to do so.
Second, because the panels feature interesting discussions, interactive games, and special guests. All panels are appropriate for all ages unless specifically noted. Look for art shows, card games, writing, vocal training, puppetry, and more. This year’s special guest is Charlie Adler, best known as the voice of Buster Bunny as well as characters in cartoons I Am Weasel and Aaahh!! Real Monsters, and Starscream in the Transformers movies.
And last but not least, the Fursuit Parade! It’s a blast, your kids will love it, and it’s free. A portion of the parade will be outside, weather permitting, along 10th Street beneath the Convention Center. The parade begins at 2:00 on Saturday and seating is available along the parade route. The parade will also feature lively jazz music from Colonel Eagleburger’s High Steppin’ Good Time Band.
Schedule Highlights At a Glance
Friday, June 30
- 12:30 pm So Your Kid Dragged You To Anthrocon
- 1:00 Puppetry for Everyone
- 2:00 pm Q&A w/ Charlie Adler; Live Concert: NIIC the Singing Dog
- 4:30 The Furry Feud
- 5:00 Karaoke
- 6:30 Fursuit Price is Right
Saturday, July 1
- 9:30 am Fursuits, What are They Fur? Fursona(s) & Perfurmances?
- 10:00 am Learn to Play Kitsune: of Foxes and Fools; Looney Lab’s Game Demos
- 11:00 am Pokemon CCG
- 2:00 pm Fursuit Parade (the parade is free and doesn’t require registration)
- 3:00 Fursuit Photo Room (meet n greet/photo ops w/ furries until 7 pm)
- 4:00 pm Autograph Session w/ Charlie Adler
- 5:00 pm Wheel of Furtune; Karaoke Part 2
Sunday, July 2
- 11:00 am Furry Parents w/ Young Children Meetup; Sports Mascots Fanatics Meet n Greet
- 12:00 pm Dance Competition Finals
- 1:30 pm Autograph Session w/ Charlie Adler
- 2:00 pm Zootopia Fan Discussion; Fursuit Photo Room (meet n greet/photo ops w/ furries until 6 pm)
- 3:00 pm Anthrocon Charity Show
I only provided a snapshot of their schedule. Click here for the full schedule. There are many sessions you can enjoy with your kids, or if you have teens, there are also many sessions they would enjoy as well – like Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, and video games.
Still unsure? First, keep an open mind. Anthrocon is no different from other fan-based conventions, like Comicon, where attendees frequently dress up as their favorite characters. Only about 25 percent of Anthrocon attendees wear fursuits, but everyone who attends comes to have a good time.
If you go, familiarize yourself and your kids with guidelines and etiquette for behavior around furries. For example, approaching them from the front (because their suit limits full-range vision), not touching the fursuit unless given permission to do so, and of course, being polite. There are $30 one-day passes available on-site, or you can register online for the whole weekend for $60.
Have you gone in the past? Do you plan to go this year? Let us know! We’d love to hear your stories. And to the Furries: Welcome back to Pittsburgh! We hope the weather cooperates and you enjoy your stay in the Steel City.