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|Venue||Hyatt Regency O'Hare|
|Attendance||10,989 in 2018|
|Organized by||Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc.|
Midwest FurFest (abbreviated MFF) is the world's largest furry convention, which takes place in Rosemont, Illinois each December. MFF is an Illinois Educational Not-For-Profit Corporation that exists primarily for the purpose of holding an annual convention to facilitate education in anthropomorphic literature and art. A secondary purpose of the corporation is to facilitate the donation of funds to non-profit institutions that the board decides are worthy and which promote the well-being of humans and/or animals. The convention was first held in 2000 and has grown to draw 10,989 attendees in 2018.
Background and history
Midwest FurFest got its start as the furry track for DucKon, a Chicago-based science fiction convention. The furry track was started at DucKon 3 in 1994 and was headed up by Robert King. The track grew larger each year and it was estimated that by DucKon 8 (1999) between one-quarter and one-third of the attendees were there due to interest in the furry track.
The track ran into problems because it was running out of room to expand without costing other parts of DucKon programming space and time. It was decided that the best course of action was to spin off into a new convention.
Thus Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc. was created and Midwest FurFest was born, to take place in November 2000, on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The parting was amicable, and Duckon lent a good bit of expertise and manpower to help make the first year of Midwest FurFest a success.
Since then, the convention has grown from 473 attendees in 2000 to 10,989 in 2018, making it the largest furry convention in the world by more than 2,300 attendees over the previous largest convention, Anthrocon. It has helped raise over $370,276 for various charities.
Midwest FurFest is a production of Midwest Furry Fandom, Inc., which holds Midwest Furfest, FurFest, and #FurFest as service marks.
2014 gas incident
On December 7, 2014, a gas leak occurred at the Hyatt hotel in Rosemont which left 19 guests hospitalized. Later, an investigation found a broken glass bottle containing a concentration of chlorine powder inside the building.[not in citation given] 18 of the 19 people hospitalized were released soon after and the convention continued.
Locations, attendances, and charity donations by year
|2000||Arlington Heights, IL||473||$3,522||Wolf Park, Valley of the Kings big cat sanctuary, and Chicago House|
|2001||Arlington Heights, IL||511||$6,800||Animals for Awareness|
|2002||Schaumburg, IL||685||$6,088||Animals for Awareness|
|2003||Schaumburg, IL||800||$6,500||Animals for Awareness|
|2004||Schaumburg, IL||959||$7,000||Furry Friends Foundation|
|2005||Schaumburg, IL||1,066||$6,800||Wildlife in Need|
|2006||Schaumburg, IL||1,422||$13,049||Safe Haven Wildlife Refuge|
|2007||Schaumburg, IL||1,690||$15,193||Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation|
|2008||Wheeling, IL||1,992||$15,000||Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy|
|2009||Wheeling, IL||2,040||$12,799||Kane Area Rehabilitation and Education for Wildlife|
|2010||Rosemont, IL||2,285||$11,300||Castaway Pet Rescue|
|2011||Rosemont, IL||2,600||$19,575||Animal Education and Rescue|
|2012||Rosemont, IL||3,216||$40,500||Felines & Canines|
|2013||Rosemont, IL||3,904||$28,000||One Tail at a Time|
|2014||Rosemont, IL||4,571||$31,446||Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary|
|2016||Rosemont, IL||7,075||$78,482||Felines & Canines|
- Midwest FurFest on Twitter. Dated December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
- McNally), Sonious (Tantroo (4 December 2017). "Midwest FurFest usurps Anthrocon's record and becomes the world's largest furry convention". Flayrah.
- dronon (5 December 2018). "Furry convention attendance reaches 5 digits at Midwest FurFest 2018". Flayrah.
- "Police investigating chlorine gas incident at 'Furry' convention as criminal act". UPI.
- No Filta, Doprah. ""Furry" Fandom Fetishists Attacked With Chlorine Gas; 19 Hospitalized After the Hate Crime". Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- Mazza, Ed. "Furry Convention Chlorine Gas Incident Sickens 19 Near Chicago". Retrieved 8 December 2014.