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Anthrocon logo.png
Anthrocon's official logo
Location(s)Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
CountryUnited States
Most recent2019
Attendance9,358 in 2019
Organized byAnthrocon, Inc.
Filing status501(c)7

Anthrocon (abbreviated AC) is the world's second largest furry convention, taking place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania each June or July. Its focus is on furries: fictional anthropomorphic animal characters in art and literature. The convention was first held in 1997 in New York State, and draws over 7,000 attendees annually. Anthrocon 2019 drew 9,358 attendees, with 2,132 fursuiters participating in the fursuit parade.[1] Since moving to Pittsburgh in 2006, the convention draws millions in financing to the local economy; particularly, the 2015 convention brought $5.7 million to the city of Pittsburgh.[2][page needed]

Background and history[edit]

Anthrocon was founded in 1997 as Albany Anthrocon (AAC) in New York State, with a membership of about 500. The convention was renamed to 'Anthrocon' and moved to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1999 and 2000; then to a larger hotel, the Adam's Mark, on the outskirts of Philadelphia in 2001. Attendance grew each year, Anthrocon becoming the largest furry convention in 2001 with an attendance of 1,457. In 2004 it had climbed to 2,404 attendees in its final year at the Adam's Mark.

Due to the unforeseen sale of the Adam's Mark Hotel in November 2004, Anthrocon chose the Wyndham Franklin Plaza in Philadelphia as the site for its 2005 convention. Attendance that year dropped to 2,373. In June 2005, a contract with the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Pittsburgh was signed, and Anthrocon was scheduled to be held at the adjoining David L. Lawrence Convention Center between June 15 and 18, 2006. Despite concerns that the move to Pittsburgh would decrease attendance, it rose to 2,489, enough to ensure the future of the convention in Pittsburgh.

In 2007 Anthrocon was featured in the Guinness World Records (2008 Edition) as the "largest furry fan club" in the world. In 2008, Anthrocon became the first furry convention to have an attendance exceeding 3,000 members, the official count reaching 3,390.[3] In 2009, attendance rose 11% to 3,776, and the Fursuit Parade count jumped to 640—a 41% increase.[4][5] Anthrocon 2009 brought approximately $3 million to the Pittsburgh economy.[6]

Anthrocon 2010 had an attendance of 4,238, the first furry convention to exceed 4,000 members; and by 2012 saw 5,179 attendees, with a Fursuit Parade exceeding 1,000. The admission price was also set overall at $60 for a four-day pass, though pre-registered attendees paid $50.[7] In 2013, Anthrocon contracted roomspace with seven of Pittsburgh's ten downtown hotels.

In 2017, Anthrocon lost the title of "World's most attended furry convention", as Midwest FurFest in Rosemont, Illinois claimed the title with an attendance of over 8,700.[8]

The chairman of the convention since 1999, Dr. Samuel Conway (nicknamed "Kagemushi" or "Uncle Kage" among attendees), oversees the operations of Anthrocon, with the help of convention staff and volunteers who donate their time and energy throughout the weekend to assist the multitude of small tasks which arise. Since 1997, Anthrocon has raised more than $200,000 for animal-related charities.[3]

Fernando's Café[edit]

Since the convention's presence in Pittsburgh, Fernando's Café, a fast food restaurant located near the Westin Convention Center, is one of many restaurants that cater to furries during Anthrocon weekend.[9] However, in 2012, Fernando DeCarvalho, the owner of the restaurant, called Conway informing him that he had gone into debt as a result of the Great Recession. In response, Conway initiated a fundraising campaign which resulted in the restaurant receiving $20,000, a move the Huffington Post says would "alleviate some of [DeCarvalho's] debt and allow him to keep his doors open long enough for one last Anthrocon."[9]

Typical programming and events[edit]

There are areas open most of the day to accommodate sales by Dealers and Artists as well as an area to congregate and socialize (see "The Zoo" below).

Anthrocon provides a number of specialized 'tracks' of programming with similar furry based themes and scheduled 'events'.[10][11]

The programming tracks involve discussions and work groups focused on the application of furry in Art, Comedy and Improv, Computer Gaming, Costuming (Fursuits), Music, Puppetry, Role-Playing (both gaming and real-life), and Writing.

Scheduled events that take place have included a Charity Auction, Masquerade, Fursuit Parade, nightly dances, Art Show Auctions, and special presentations by Uncle Kage and "2 the Ranting Gryphon".[12]

Every year the convention has several Guests of Honor – prominent individuals who are compensated for their attendance and travel expenses. Past Guests of Honor at Anthrocon have included Rob Paulsen and Mark Evanier.[13][14]

Anthrocon by year[edit]

This table includes the locations of each convention as well as attendance figures, charity donations, convention themes, and guests of honor by year.

Additional source:[15][16]

Year Dates Location Attendance[17] Charity
Charity Theme Guests of Honor
1997 July 4–6 Albany, NY 300 est $2,200 Therapy Dogs/K9 Friends An East Coast Furry Con
  • artist Daphne Lage
  • author Watts Martin
1998 July 3–5 Albany, NY 600 est $3,092 Whiskers Here Be Dragons
  • artist Jim Groat
  • author Jeffrey A. Carver
1999 July 2–4 Valley Forge, PA 842 $3,600 Great Valley Nature Center The Furry Revolution
  • artist Vicky Wyman
  • author S. Andrew Swann
2000 June 30- July 2 Valley Forge, PA 1,128 $6,534 The National Greyhound Adoption Program Furries of Myth and Legend
  • artist Sara "Caribou" Palmer
  • author Paul Kidd
2001 July 27–29 Philadelphia, PA 1,457 $7,237 Reins of Life Furries in Flight
2002 July 11–14 Philadelphia, PA 1,648 $13,280 Canine Partners for Life Invention
2003 July 17–20 Philadelphia, PA 1,949 $8,348 Support Our Shelters Creatures of the Night
  • artist Guy Gilchrist
  • artist Mark E. Rogers
2004 July 8–11 Philadelphia, PA 2,404 $7,200 Forgotten Felines & Fidos (FFF) Summer Games
2005 July 7–10 Philadelphia, PA 2,370 $6,470 Greater Philadelphia Search & Rescue Heroes
2006 June 15–18 Pittsburgh, PA 2,489 $8,407 Western Pennsylvania National Wild Animal Making History
2007 July 5–8 Pittsburgh, PA 2,849 $7,608 Animal Friends Looking to the Future
2008 June 26–29 Pittsburgh, PA 3,390 $13,154 Pittsburgh Parrot Rescue It's a jungle out there!
2009 July 2–5 Pittsburgh, PA 3,776[18] $8,993[19] Animal Rescue League Wildlife Rehabilitation OMG Aliens!
2010 June 24–27 Pittsburgh, PA 4,238 $12,849 Fayette Friends of Animals Modern Stone-Age Furries
2011 June 23–26 Pittsburgh, PA 4,400[20] $11,522[21] ToonSeum The Anthropomorphic Institute of Magic
2012 June 14–17 Pittsburgh, PA 5,179 $20,656 Hello Bully A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Comic Artist, Animator, Director, TV Repairman Mike Kazaleh
  • Comic Artist and Video Game Art Director Dev Madan of Sly Cooper fame.
2013 July 4–7 Pittsburgh, PA 5,577 $31,255[22] Equine Angels Rescue The Fast and the Furrious
2014 July 3–6 Pittsburgh, PA 5,861 $32,372 The National Aviary Secret Societies
2015[23] July 9–12 Pittsburgh, PA 6,348 $35,910 The Western PA Humane Society Viking Invasion!
2016 June 30- July 3 Pittsburgh, PA 7,310[24] $30,880[24] Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium Roaring Twenty
2017 June 29- July 2 Pittsburgh, PA 7,544 $37,598 Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary Take Me Out To The Ballgame
2018 July 5–8 Pittsburgh, PA 8,407 $42,051 South Hills Pet Rescue Movie Monsters
2019 July 4–7 Pittsburgh, PA 9,358 $46,440 PEARL Parrot Rescue Surf Pacific
2020 Cancelled[26]
(originally July 2–5)
Pittsburgh, PA N/A N/A N/A Aesop's Fables
  • comic creator Susan Rankin[27]
2021 Cancelled[28]
(originally July 1–4)
Pittsburgh, PA N/A N/A N/A Aesop's Fables



  1. ^ "History".
  2. ^ Dale, Joshua Paul; Goggin, Joyce; Leyda, Julia; McIntyre, Anthony P.; Negra, Diane (December 8, 2016). The Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness. Routledge. ISBN 9781317331308.
  3. ^ a b Anthrocon, Inc. (March 29, 2006). "Anthrocon History". Archived from the original on April 4, 2007. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
  4. ^ John Cole (July 7, 2009). "Anthrocon 2009 – A Final Look Back".
  5. ^ Karl Jorgensen (July 6, 2009). "A Bunch Of Anthrocon News Coverage In One Convenient Post!".
  6. ^ Brandolph, Adam (June 28, 2008). "Furry Convention $3 Million Cash Cow for City Businesses". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on April 14, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  7. ^ Katie Notopoulos (June 20, 2012). "Are Furries Really So Bad?". BuzzFeed. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
  8. ^ Purdom, Clayton. "How will you react when a loved one tells you they are a furry?". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Anthrocon Furries Aid Fernando's Cafe in Pittsburgh". Huffington Post. June 17, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "Events" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  11. ^ "Our 2017 Schedule". Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "Ranting Gryphon Studios - News". Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  13. ^ Anthrocon's first guest of honor named, Uncle Kage, Anthrocon LiveJournal, August 19, 2006
  14. ^ Anthrocon's 2007 Guests of Honor announced! Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine , Uncle Kage, Anthrocon website, November 12, 2006
  15. ^ "Convention Date Related Questions | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  16. ^ "History". Anthrocon 2019: Surf Pacific. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  17. ^ "Anthrocon History | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  18. ^ "Anthrocon 2009 - a final look back". Archived from the original on September 21, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  19. ^ "Anthrocon 2009 Charity Auction/Raffle Followup | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Archived from the original on July 11, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  20. ^ "Anthrocon 2011 attendance". Anthrocon. June 26, 2011.
  21. ^ Brian Harris (June 28, 2011). "Anthrocon 2011 Charity Event Followup". Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  22. ^ "Anthrocon 2013 Charity Event Followup | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Archived from the original on September 16, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  23. ^ Garcia, Deanna. "The Furries Have Landed — And Pittsburgh Is Giving Them A Bear Hug". Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Anthrocon 2016 Wrapup! | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Archived from the original on July 9, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  25. ^ Anthrocon History, Anthrocon website, August 15, 2016
  26. ^ "Anthrocon, the furries convention in Pittsburgh, is officially canceled for 2020". WTAE. April 27, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  27. ^ "We're pleased to welcome Sue Deer; creator of "A Doemain of our Own" and winner of the Ursa Major award as our 2020 Guest of Honor!". Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  28. ^ "Anthrocon, the furries convention in Pittsburgh, is officially cancelled for 2021". WTAE. April 27, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.

External links[edit]