The Furries Return to Pittsburgh After a Two-Year Hiatus
The most furries ever are expected to attend Anthrocon 2022 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
PHOTO BY BY ELAINA ZACHOS
Summer in Pittsburgh — the Three Rivers Regatta, Picklesburgh, the Arts Festival… and furries? Anthrocon 2022 returns to the ‘Burgh after a two-year absence because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The convention, themed “Aesop’s Fables,” will run from June 30 to July 3 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. Registration is required to enter the building and participate, but the public will be able to see furries walking throughout the city that weekend.
More than 10,000 furries are expected to attend. And for the first time, the city will be hosting a public Block Party for the furries, to be held from 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 2, on Penn Avenue between Ninth and 11th streets. The annual parade begins in the convention center at 2 p.m. that day and ends at the Block Party.
For the uninitiated, what are furries? And why are they all coming to Pittsburgh?
Furries participate in a subculture focused on anthropomorphic animal characters with human characteristics and personalities. They have “fursonas,” which are their animal characters’ personalities. Furries dress to match their fursona, which can include a full “fursuit” or just smaller accessories — such as a tail or ears –– to anthropomorphize themself.
Anthrocon brings these people together to share their common interest. Artists, writers, costumers, animators, puppeteers and fans join to celebrate, learn and gush about the fandom and all its quirks.
The annual convention has been held in Pittsburgh since 2006 after the group outgrew previous venues. John “K.P.” Cole, public outreach director for Anthrocon, told TribLive that the city is very welcoming and also provides a plethora of things to do to keep the furries busy for the weekend.
The furries love Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh loves the furries.
“We welcome them because they are a joyous event,” Susan Klein, chief marketing officer for VisitPittsburgh told the TribLive. “They spill out into the Downtown area, and they lift peoples’ spirits. They are fun. The city rolls out the red carpet for them.”
As one of the largest anthropomorphic conventions in the world, Anthrocon also supports charities from their proceeds. This year the convention will donate money to Wildlife Works Inc. in Youngwood. This nonprofit rehabilitates and releases distressed wildlife in Westmoreland County and surrounding areas. It also promotes the preservation of the environment, native species and habitats.
Attendees can look forward to a packed schedule that includes dance-offs, escape rooms, meet and greets, art and writing workshops, fursuit-making workshops, comedy acts, speaker panels and more.
Sue Deer, Kévin “Kéké” Gemin and Sokyokukokoh featuring Hashita Kaoru will be the guests of honor this year.
Learn more/watch this⇓