Fursuit Parade - IMPORTANT STUFF
With Anthrocon 2012 around the corner, and the news that we have 3697 pre-registered attendees (WHERE ARE YOU ALL COMING FROM?!?!), we have to give some basic information about the fursuit parade.
I cannot stress this information enough, so PLEASE....tell anyone who may be entering the parade to come read this information. It's VERY VERY important.
First: The photo is being taken BEFORE the parade starts. We start the lineup in Hall A..that is the big exhibit hall on the opposite side of the convention center walkway..at 1pm. The parade starts at 2pm. I know a lot of people think that is enough time to get to the photo...IT REALLY IS NOT. Remember that the elevators are going to be running almost non stop starting about 12:45 with folks trying to get up to their rooms to change, and back down to the DLCC for the parade. They are going to be BUSY. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...try to get to Exhibit Hall A no later than 1:15pm. I know it seems like a long time to hang out for it to start...but we really do need that time so that everyone can make it in. If you wait until 1:30 to get to the elevators..you stand a VERY good chance of missing the photo op. I cannot stress this enough....you MUST plan on being at Exhibit Hall A...by 1:15pm to ensure that you will be in the parade photo op. Just hang out and talk to people for a while.
Second: The lineup for the photo op. The photograph will be overlooking all of Exhibit hall A. You do not need to push far forward to be seen in the photo. In fact, may of the spots inthe back of the photo will be MORE visible than the ones close to the front or in the middle. You can spread out and back quite far and be EASILY seen. Taller suits, or those with larger ears or things that may obstruct other costumes...should please try to stay towards the back of the photo. I promise you..we CAN see you. But it really is crushing to someone who is there for the first time. and really wanting to be seen in this photo...to be obscured by someone reaching up and blocking them out. If you can't see the camera, it can't see you. If you can see the camera, it CAN see you. Also there will be areas that are pre-designated for specific fursuiters. These are our special guests and their escorts or support staff or the parade lead. Please be courteous and do not try to stand in their places. Some are being flown in from other nations at significant expense to the convention to entertain you..and we'd like to recognize their accomplishments by having them in a specific place in the photograph.
Third: We will be walking 2x2 in the parade. So if you have a partner that you wish to walk with..please choose that partner and try to arrive together or stand next to one another in the photo lineup. The parade MUST keep moving, so try not to bring anything with you that will slow you down.
Fourth: This is most important! Last year we had 853 fursuiters in the parade. This year, with our pre-registered numbers...we are anticipating at least 900 fursuiters....with a distinct possibility that we can exceed 999 participants. (That number doesn't exist yet...so don't even mention it until it does!) This is going to cause significant strain on the cooling facilities and water alloation. We are working on some viable options. As a good rule though...please hydrate yourself BEFORE the parade...this will help you feel better at the end of the parade. If you feel ill or need assistance during the parade...when you get to a Dorsai (our security in the red shirts)...tell them you need help RIGHT AWAY. Do not try to "muddle through". We can get you to a pre determined area to let you remove your costume head and get some water right away. Your health and satefy is PARAMOUNT to us...so please...don't think it's uncool or wimpy to let someone know you need to exit the parade. I would much rather you get leave the parade and feel better...than get really sick and risk missing more of the convention.
Fifth: When the parade ends....there will be a LARGE number of people that will be trying to use the elevators right away. This is going to cause backlog and congestion. It's not avoidable. So you may want to think about your post parade plans right now. There will be may events happening after tha parade...lots of space for photos...and lots of people to meet. So you need not rush right to the elevators. There will be a great concert happening in the Main Ballroom at 4pm...so if you would like to hang around in suit for a bit...you can enjoy some music and fun! But also realize..the headless zone will more than likely be filled to capacity...so you should not plan to be there for very long..if you can even make it there at all. Almost all event space in the DLCC is spoken for after 3:30pm....so please be respectful of those who will be hosting panels and events.
This is going to be a record year...with a lot of fun to be had. So let's make certain that everyone is reaady and in the right place at the right time....so that we have the best possible parade we can!
One thing that will definately help for fursuiters is if they can bring a travel mug/bottle from home that has a straw. Filling it with water and carrying it with you before, during, and after the parade (or during other events) will help alleviate the strain on water allocation. I remember AC passing out free water bottles during AC2007 and 2008 to the fursuiters. I still have my bottles at home and will be bringing one to the con to use.
Here's a pic of what one of the water bottles looks like that a fursuiter is holding. These were a great relief at past cons.
We have no issues with this, I know of several suiters who go so far as getting a Camel-Bak hydration pack to wear in suit.
I used to use one of those, but then discovered it was easier to just drink the water provided in the headless lounge, as it is both plentiful and easily accessed.
K.P. makes some fantastic points, but I will stress one of them from personal experience as well as combat training.
START HYDRATING SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE THE PARADE. HYDRATION IS WATER.
You read that right. It takes *days* for your body to get used to larger amounts of water. Water. H2O. NOT soda. NOT coffee. NOT sugary drinks (though sometimes they can help if you are sweating a lot).
To properly prepare your body for the intake of water, you need to start hydrating at least three days in advance. If you guzzle a gallon of water the morning of the parade, all you're going to do is need to go to the bathroom every few minutes and still not be hydrated. Sip on a water bottle every 15 minutes or so to introduce the water gradually.
For the average adult human, proper hydration is approximately 64oz or water daily. That's a little less than two litres. For hot, humid, high activity, and/or if you drink caffinated beverages (soda, coffee, etc), you need to up that intake. In the Army, when I had a group of Soldiers performing their duties in hot weather (imitating the conditions in a fursuit), they needed to drink about a quart of water an hour during the heat-based activity, take breaks, and eat sensibly (fruit/nut combo, protien bars, etc). Pedialyte might taste awful, but a glass of it will also give your body some of the essential nutrients you can lose while sweating. In a fursuit you sweat a LOT.
Heat injuries are not a laughing matter. I speak from personal experience as someone who has not only been the victim of a heat injury, but who has surpervised a squad of Soldiers in hot weather without anyone suffering from one. Once you get a heat injury, you become more susceptible to them in the future. Do your body a favor and prepare yourself! :-)
Amen to what has been said above.
As a former paramedic/firefighter, all I can add to this is while you are ramping up your fluid intake remember to eat healthy as well. That means full meals, at least twice a day. you'll be giving back a far bit of what you take in and you'll be moving the various vitamins/minerals out when you do. Save the sports drinks for when you are actually in the parade and sweating it out.
As they are doing this year's parade in a 2 by 2 format, adopt the attitude of being your neighbor's keeper, check on the person next to you every so often.
And remember how medics put fluids into folks; intraveiniously. And they carry shears that will cut through pennies...
Looks like I need to suit up early AND bring my big 7-11 mug filled w/ice water. I'm going to need it!
BTW: whoever gets to be my partner gets water held in my lab coat pockets. (except for Timmy the Thinkgeek monkey)
I just have one thing to say...
ALL THE FURSUITERS!!! ALL OF THEM!!!
Make sure to keep an eye out for me, an no rough housing me please. n.n
I go with that, no rough housing and no poking!
Hmm...Perhaps this might be a good time to invest in the same Boost drinks that I had after my wisdom teeth were taken out. Those things definitely gave me back the energy I was losing.
I'm so excited! This is going to be the best AC ever!
Is it feasible, or just a dumb idea, to be a dealer but also want to be in the parade? I know with the line-up, photo, parade, and return I will be away from my table for something like 3 hours. Is it stupid to even try for it?
Unfortunately, this is a question only you can answer. Some things to consider: what are you selling? Can it be sold by someone other than yourself? Do you have anyone who can/will assist you with sales? Can you afford the financial loss that you could incur by closing your table for three hours?
Three hours comes to, roughly, 30% of the available sales time in the Dealers Room. Can you afford that big a hit to your income?
It's certainly feasible, but only you can decide if it's a dumb idea.
I can't answer whether it is feasible for you but I do know that there are other dealers who do participate in the parade. I know that Tani DaReal and Silent Ravyn were in the parade last year and they were both dealers.
I used to be an artist's assistant back when I was first introduced to cons. I would suggest having someone you trust watch your table while you're away (an assistant if you have one) and have him/her tell potential customers that you will be returning at a specified time.
It may be a bit off topic, but I'm making a combat suit, would that allow me to paricipate? Just curious.
There rather ought be a furry element to it; and it needs to be a suit without bare skin showing; that is to say, skin should be covered in suit, in clother, and/or in paint.
Ok, looks like I can't.
It ends in front of the ballrooms, right?
Last year the parade actually ended in the ballrom. The ballroom was where the fursuiters could take their heads off, cool down and get water.
Sounds good. Thanks.
This might seem like a really stupid and obvious question but: Which day of the convention does the parade happen on? This is my first time attending, sorry if this sounds like it should be obvious!
I can't wait to see this years parade route since it will be bigger than last years rtoute me thinks =D
Oooo, I see we are going out onto the outside deck again this year.
According to the printed parade route, this year's walk will be longer. This time, we'll start in Hall A (not Hall C, as we did for 2011), before going into the Dealer's Den (Hall B). When we get to the 2nd floor, the route will take us outside to the balcony before moving through the big hallway that overlooks the dealers den (and Hall A), and to the ballroom.
I may be mistaken, and I don't want to scare anyone, but this looks to be the longest parade route we've had at Anthrocon (especially if weather permits us to go to the convention center balcony). That pleases me. :)
This route pleases me as well.
Just pointing out that for the after parade there will be a mad dash as usual for the headless lounge. It will be crowded and there will be a table set up with water pre-poured (like last year). So for those of you who go to the lounge look for the table and know that water will be already waiting.