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Anthrocon's official logo
|Attendance||9,358 in 2019|
|Organized by||Anthrocon, Inc.|
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. 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.
Background and history
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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 slightly to 2,373, due in part to higher parking fees, a different and unfamiliar hotel with less convention space, and possibly due to Hurricane Dennis' effect on the southern United States which closed many airports and prevented people from traveling. 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 actually rose to 2,489, which was 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. In 2009, attendance rose 11% to 3,776, and the Fursuit Parade count jumped to 640—a 41% increase. Anthrocon 2009 brought approximately $3 million to the Pittsburgh economy.
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. In 2013, Anthrocon contracted roomspace with seven of Pittsburgh's ten downtown hotels.
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.
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. 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."
Typical programming and events
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).
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.
The scheduled events that take place are the Charity Auction, the Masquerade, the Fursuit Parade, nightly dances, Art Show Auctions, and special presentations by Uncle Kage and "2 the Ranting Gryphon".
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.
Anthrocon by year
This table includes the locations of each convention as well as attendance figures, charity donations, convention themes, and guests of honor by year.
|Charity||Theme||Guests of Honor|
|1997||July 4–6||Albany, NY||300 est||$2,200||Therapy Dogs/K9 Friends||An East Coast Furry Con||
|1998||July 3–5||Albany, NY||600 est||$3,092||Whiskers||Here Be Dragons||
|1999||July 2–4||Valley Forge, PA||842||$3,600||Great Valley Nature Center||The Furry Revolution||
|2000||June 30- July 2||Valley Forge, PA||1,128||$6,534||The National Greyhound Adoption Program||Furries of Myth and Legend||
|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||
|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||$8,993||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||$11,522||ToonSeum||The Anthropomorphic Institute of Magic|
|2012||June 14–17||Pittsburgh, PA||5,179||$20,656||Hello Bully||A Midsummer Night's Dream||
|2013||July 4–7||Pittsburgh, PA||5,577||$31,255||Equine Angels Rescue||The Fast and the Furrious|
|2014||July 3–6||Pittsburgh, PA||5,861||$32,372||The National Aviary||Secret Societies|
|2015||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||$30,880||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||July 2–5||Pittsburgh, PA||TBA||TBA||TBA||Aesop's Fables||TBA|
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Several Anthrocon 2007 directors, including chairman Dr. Samuel Conway (left)
- Dale, Joshua Paul; Goggin, Joyce; Leyda, Julia; McIntyre, Anthony P.; Negra, Diane. The Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness. Routledge. ISBN 9781317331308.
- Anthrocon, Inc. (March 29, 2006). "Anthrocon History". Archived from the original on April 4, 2007. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
- John Cole (July 7, 2009). "Anthrocon 2009 – A Final Look Back".
- Karl Jorgensen (July 6, 2009). "A Bunch Of Anthrocon News Coverage In One Convenient Post!".
- 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.
- Katie Notopoulos (June 20, 2012). "Are Furries Really So Bad?". BuzzFeed. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- Purdom, Clayton. "How will you react when a loved one tells you they are a furry?". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
- "Anthrocon Furries Aid Fernando's Cafe in Pittsburgh". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- "Events" (PDF). Anthrocon.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- "Our 2017 Schedule". Anthrocon.org. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
- "Ranting Gryphon Studios - News". Ranting-gryphon.com. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- Anthrocon's first guest of honor named, Uncle Kage, Anthrocon LiveJournal, August 19, 2006
- Anthrocon's 2007 Guests of Honor announced! Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine , Uncle Kage, Anthrocon website, November 12, 2006
- "Convention Date Related Questions | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Anthrocon.org. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- "History". Anthrocon 2019: Surf Pacific. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
- "Anthrocon History | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Anthrocon.org. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- "Anthrocon 2009 - a final look back". Anthrocon.org. Archived from the original on September 21, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- "Anthrocon 2009 Charity Auction/Raffle Followup | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Anthrocon.org. Archived from the original on July 11, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- "Anthrocon 2011 attendance". Anthrocon. June 26, 2011.
- Brian Harris (June 28, 2011). "Anthrocon 2011 Charity Event Followup". Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- "Anthrocon 2013 Charity Event Followup | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Anthrocon.org. Archived from the original on September 16, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
- Garcia, Deanna. "The Furries Have Landed — And Pittsburgh Is Giving Them A Bear Hug". NPR. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
- "Anthrocon 2016 Wrapup! | Anthrocon 2016: Roaring Twenty!". Anthrocon.org. Archived from the original on July 9, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- Anthrocon History, Anthrocon website, August 15, 2016
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