Anthrocon 2009 - a final look back

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23 replies [Last post]
K.P.'s picture
This user is a Board MemberThis user is a Staff Member
Location: Orlando, FL
"Anthrocon Programming Director"
Posts: 755

The lights have dimmed. Our equipment is packed. Things seem much quieter and perhaps a little less colorful in Pittsburgh. Anthrocon 2009 has ended, and as many of us have returned to our daily routine, I still can’t help but feel a bit of a wistful longing that we could have just one more day of what was surely a convention that will remain firmly cemented in many collective memories.

I don’t think there is a way to really describe the activities of the weekend. Every person had their own experience, and each has their own story to tell. That is the reality of having 3776 people attending a single event. But what we have created in the city of Pittsburgh, is indeed something special. Local restaurants are now clamoring for our business. The city welcomes us with open arms. Pittsburgh is no longer merely the city where we hold our convention. Pittsburgh has become our home, and it is one that we look forward to returning to every summer.

As I began the task of unpacking last night, I found my medallions, fursuit ear tags, signed books, hand turned wooden pens, and all of the other trinkets that were reminders that the convention is now only a memory. But what a great memory it is. All good things must come to an end. This is the nature of things. We must allow those special moments to pass and return to our sense of “normal routine” so that we can truly appreciate how truly remarkable Anthrocon 2009 really was.

As we close the books on this year's event, I hope that everyone had a wonderful and fun-filled weekend. Godspeed my friends. We’ll look forward to seeing everyone next year!

KP

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Sonicgott's picture
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Location: Twin Cities, MN, USA
"'Common Sense' is NOT an oxymoron."
Posts: 948

Your words could not have been more accurate, KP. This is one thing about you that I truly respect.

Anthrocon 2009 for me was bittersweet, mourning the loss of old friends, but celebrating in the presence of other friends. We are a family here at Anthrocon, I truly believe this. This was my best Anthrocon experience yet, and things went quite smoothly.

My personal thanks to Chiaroscuro, for his expert management skills, and to our staff members at registration, especially Tyrrlin and Krin, of whom I feel are indispensible: we could not have done it without you! I personally worked so very hard for you all, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I also must thank Giza for his brand new system which has worked flawlessly!

The years pass by quickly for me now... it feels that Anthrocon 2010 is just around the corner.

These memories in which we have inherited from our beloved convention are truly an experience like no other. I felt great joy and happiness being accompanied by my friends... even if I did only get to spend a few minutes with you.

My heart-felt thanks to all of our staff members throughout the convention: give yourself a pat on the back. It is an honour working with you all, and I shall hope to see you next year!

I must also thank all of our members: without you all, there would be no Anthrocon.

We are a community, and we are, in my opinion, a family.

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animelover122's picture
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 244

Mike
dont worry KP next ye!ar will be just a fun or more!

animelover out

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Mike

Lionman's picture
Location: NorthWest Ohio
"Star Trekkin' across the universe, only goin' foward cause we can't find reverse"
Posts: 65

Yes, it will be but it's still kinda sad to have to see it go.

For me, it's kinda like a family reunion that only lasts a short time before we're all forced to scatter back to our little corners of the country and/or world. Kinda reminds me of the vikings, you go out on adventure for a year or three, come back for a little bit to rest and converse with family then it's back out again. Does make me a little sad to have to go, but it also makes me look foward to next year a little more.

Lionman

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BlackJack's picture
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Location: from NYC
Posts: 1428

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtuvXrTz8DY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTJ9g1pIkzM

"Now the seats are all empty
Let the roadies take the stage
Pack it up and tear it down
They're the first to come and the last to leave
Working for that minimum wage
They'll set it up in another town.

Tonight the people were so fine, they waited there in line
And when they got up on their feet, they made the show
And that was sweet, but I can hear the sound
Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that's a sound they'll never know....."

=======================

I already have some notes in my head on how to make my AC experience better in '10
than it was in '09. Of course, that's about average-I make mental notes every year...

I can't say the convention literally feels like home- but it's worth planning for all
year, and looking forward to all year.

So,
here's to all the people who did their best to make AC'09 as special as they could.
Here's to you, here's to me, here's to the staff, here's to the panelists, here's to
the locals who went the extra step in making us welcome, and here's to all the
convention-goers who filled the seats with cheering fans, and who filled the events
with enthusiastic participants. Without them, we'd all have been playing to empty
rooms.

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MOST AC ATTENDEES DO NOT WEAR A FURSUIT OR ANY FORM OF COSTUME.

Skyfox's picture
Location: Michigan, US
"I'm a fox, I'm a furry, and I'm mighty proud of that."
Posts: 208

What a coincidence! About a month or so ago I was thinking about that same song and how I might adapt it to be about furries and Anthrocon, to be used in a Masquerade skit. It's been so long ago now, I can't remember the words I came up with. If only I was a musician to actually make it happen.

"...Please fursuit...just a little bit longer..." or something like that *smiles*

Skyfox

"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

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"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

Giza's picture
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Location: Ardmore, PA
"Webmaster Leopard"
Posts: 2879

Frontpaged. (better late than never)

 
--
See what I'm doing on Twitter

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Pennsylvania Furry? Be sure to check out http://www.pa-furry.org/

Sharky's picture
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Location: Maryland
"I understand... why trust a shark... right ? "
Posts: 399

K.P (and all)

Having been with AC for 9 years now, I have to say this year’s con was one of the best ever. I guess maybe because I am able to share my fun with my son, it makes it so much more special to me. As I grow older, I know how important it is to have quality time with your kids. I know one day will come, when my son and I will not be able to attend the cons together, and a sad day it will be.

I always will treasure the times we do attend, confident that I made the right choice in bringing him to Anthrocon. Last year I was approached by two furs (young ones) who seemed shocked that I brought my son to a fur con. We saw them again a few times thru out the con, I could always hear their whispers and laughter, as they pointed and made accusations. I did grow annoyed with them once, but quickly dismissed it as their lack of understanding, on how important a relationship between a father and son can be. The conventions are really one the highlights of our summers, we are already planning for next year.

So this message is for everyone who had a part in continuing to bring happiness to my life, my son’s life, and the over 3,700 other lives you all touched. It’s a personal thank you and I will always be grateful for your kindness. You guys put on one hell of a show, and I am honored to be part of it each year.

Speedy J Hamshark
AKA Sharky

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What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine

Skyfox's picture
Location: Michigan, US
"I'm a fox, I'm a furry, and I'm mighty proud of that."
Posts: 208

The attendance this year was outstanding. Going into it I was predicting, "eh, we should be able to break 3500 this year. We had 3190 last year..." Well, when you told Kage on Saturday afternoon that we were already up to 3400, that was a good sign of going well past 3500.

It's always a little sad to see a great con come to an end. However by parting ways, not only does it give us something to look forward to the next year, all the boring time between the conventions we attend makes us appreciate those wonderful crazy convention times all the more. If it was nonstop daily or weekly conventions it would grow boring and we'd start to take it for granted.

I'll hang the con badges on a hanger in the closet with the plastic con bags and smile fondly at them every time I look in there and see them. The collar is tucked away in the dresser drawer, the camera and flash still smoldering in their case. The dashboard toaster oven will sit in the back seat of the car until next year's long road trip, and all the while the memories and photos will provide plenty to smile about.

With other conventions we can all get together before then, so everybody travel safe, have fun, meet new friends and hug your old friends when you get there.

Skyfox

"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

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"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

Chiaroscuro's picture
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Location: Norwich, CT
"Meef! Saute! Deal!"
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Just to note, last year was 3390. And 3776 exceeded our projections for this year!

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Softpaw's picture
Location: Harrisonburg, VA 22802
"Photographer-Pup!"
Posts: 309

Some friends were taking bets that attendance would exceed 4,000. The person I sat next to at closing ceremonies lost $5 on that one Sticking out tongue

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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Location: Norwich, CT
"Meef! Saute! Deal!"
Posts: 2994

Next year, that person needs to bring along 224 more friends!

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Skyfox's picture
Location: Michigan, US
"I'm a fox, I'm a furry, and I'm mighty proud of that."
Posts: 208

I've gotta start writing this stuff down. I was convinced it was 3190 but then my memory does suck (I fully admit). Oh well, this year should be easy to remember. Since the convention happened on the weekend of the 4th, we can think of 3776 as the country's 2000th anniversary for independence. Hmmm...I should go back to bed. I'm not making much sense.

Skyfox

"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

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"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

Chiaroscuro's picture
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Location: Norwich, CT
"Meef! Saute! Deal!"
Posts: 2994

No no, we noticed that about the number as well, and thought it quite synchronous and pleasing. Smiling

We actually got that last person at registration as he headed up to the terminal at 3:59pm on Sunday, after a good hour of no one coming through. Smiling

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SORCERER's picture
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 101

I couldn't locate the thread to a discussion we had here. Anyways, it was about attendees and how it was going to be more than what was projected. From what i gathered, many have seen the increase in interests in the fandom, other cons has seen increases in attendees, and secondly the word AC seems to always be brought up in discussions. At the time of discussion the economy wasn't in bad of a shape months' ago and when the Con drew nearer it was getting rough. Inspite of all this. It shows the strength,momentum and belief that we can get through all of this by working together. It surely has.

The secret is in you.....

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~Collin aka GoldenB~
The secret is in you.....

Witchiebunny's picture
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Location: Norwich, CT
"Just a little purple bunny."
Posts: 85

Adding my heartfelt thanks for the con that was put on this year. This was my first AC in...goodness, four years, and it was every bit as wonderful and fun as I've come to expect and hope for.

Bravo, guys. You guys work so hard, and you rock so much. Enjoy the break from planning the con before you have to begin planning the next one.

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Indagare's picture
Location: Youngstown, OH
"Faster than a speeding cheeseburger, but not by much."
Posts: 137

I thought it was so interesting that on the screen after the Masquerade there was a comment, I think by a local law enforcement officer, that the officer would rather have 100,000 Anthrocons to one type of baseball fan. That sort of commentary always helps reassure me that people at the convention are trying their best (usually) to be well-behaved and to give an over-all positive perspective of furries in general. I just keep hoping that, however large we get, there will always be more good furs than bad.

"Furry is a state of mind."

http://www.klisoura.com/furrypoll.php

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"Furry is a state of mind."

jovina's picture
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 109

100,000? Hey Kage! I think we'll be needing a bigger convention center! Hehehe.

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Crashheart's picture
Location: Bend, Oregon
"otter otter dancedance jumpoffbridge!"
Posts: 6

I for one have been having phantom tail syndrome.. not wearing my tail every single hour of the con now that Im back to a regular life in the northwest where furries are pretty unknown.. I miss it. AC was this awesome world where it was all totally accepted and celebrated. My Fursuiter badge is hangin off my rear view mirror.. it makes me sad I cant go back for a whole year. But its makin me get braver, get ideas about makin stuff like it happen in my hometown. I just need to start turnin over the rocks and finding the furries in hiding :3

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Skyfox's picture
Location: Michigan, US
"I'm a fox, I'm a furry, and I'm mighty proud of that."
Posts: 208

I'd say that if you like the feel of it, wear your tail now and then even it it's just around the house. Once in a while between cons I'll put on my collar to wear for a while. Wearing it feels comforting, for lack of a better description. If you feel really compelled, try wearing your tail out in public and see what happens.

Something else you can try is wearing either an Anthrocon shirt or the one from Steel City Diner if you bought either of these. The diner shirt would be extra recognizable with the cityscape logo on the back and the bright green color. Anybody who had been to AC would unmistakably know where it came from and would probably stop you to say hello. And any furry, whether they went to AC or not, would know the name Anthrocon and probably stop you just the same if they saw your AC shirt. That's a good way to meet unknown furries in your area.

Plus there's always Google searches for furries in your area.

Skyfox Dance

"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

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"Furries are everywhere, furries are everybody."--Me

Kaiki Kamo's picture
Posts: 181

There's a ton of furs in the Pacific NW. There's the Rainfurrest convention in the Seatle area and All Fur Fun in Spokane. Not huge like AC, but they exist. Check the Wikifur mainpage, or like Skyfox said, Google for furs in your area.

You should wear your tail in Portland; it's already a funky town with gobs of alternative types. And even if you just wear a furry con t-shirt, you never know who'll notice; I was wearing an old Conifur NW 2004 shirt in Great Falls, Montana. Some guy who was opening a door for his family and let me through couldn't stop staring at the shirt and just stood outside watching it. I don't know if he was furry or not, but it seemed to spark something Laugh

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animelover122's picture
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 244

Mike
I heard that there is lots of good stuff to in the NW part of the country maybe next i might travel around there

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Mike

Crashheart's picture
Location: Bend, Oregon
"otter otter dancedance jumpoffbridge!"
Posts: 6

Its different though up here in the high desert in central oregon. 4+ hours away from portland in central oregon, I only have 2 friends here who are furries. Feels like we're all in hiding..

Though for the opening night of the new harry potter movie, I wore my otter tail and ears and said I was Hermione's Patronus (an otter) and it didnt seem to phase anybody. So I think you're right :3 I just need to not worry what people will think! But also I dont think Im gonna find the furs here unless I become a rallying point somehow. I need to advertise an create my own, since I havent found any pre-existing groups yet

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Origamigryphon's picture
Location: Maryland
"You're only young once, but you can be inmmature forever!"
Posts: 334

I go to monthly furmeets here in Maryland, and there's always a couple of folks who wear their tails. During the last one (July), I was walking with two of them who were wearing a coyote tail and a bunny tail respectively. They got called out by a couple of girls who wanted to take a photo with them! They all faced away from the camera, the girl between them, looking over their shoulders at the camera. It was a nice shot! XD

Later that night, we went to an FYE, where there was a group of youngish kids (maybe 7-11). They believed in their heart of hearts that the tails were made from real animals/parts. They kept asking, "Where did you get it? Where did you get it?" And no matter how many times that they said they had made the tails themselves, out of faux fur and even showed the stitching of the seams, they thought the tails came from real animals or parts. o.ô

So, I do recommend wearing a tail too - but wear it with a group of people also wearing tails. :3

Not a gryphon made of paper, but a Paper Folding Gryphon.

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