What can I say...it was a great convention for MFF's first! Midwest Furfest started as a special "furry" programming track at the Chicago Duckon Science Fiction convention several years ago. It continued to grow, with more activities and special events each year. The inevitable had to happen. The furry track activities grew so large it begged for its own convention. And that convention is Midwest Furfest.
And what a first convention it was. About 475 attendees with about 10% of those providing sponsor memberships. The charity auction brought in over $3500 which will be divided among the three non-profit organizations supported by this year's con: Wolf Park, a wolf research and education facility in Battle Ground, Indiana; Valley of the Kings, a refuge for big cats and other wild animals in Sharon, Wisconsin; and Chicago House, a facility that provides care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS in the Chicago area.
But you didn't come here to read about the con. You want to see pictures! Well, here are some from the various areas I was able to get to during the convention. If anybody else has some pics they'd like to place here, send them along to Akeakami (That's me!) along with a short description/title/etc. and I'll be sure to get them posted ASAP. Now, on with the show!
What's a convention without the hotel? In this case the very nicely detailed Sheraton Arlington Park. Here's what a typical room looked like...and a great price per night was given to con attendees.
Between work and other required activities Friday, my desired departure
time of 1:00 PM became 7:30 PM before I was actually able to get on the
road. Fortunately, I was still able to make the Furry Variety Show...just!
Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures from that show, as I hadn't had
time to unpack the camera before I had to get to the activity. But I did
make the Pawpet Theater the following day. Here's Steve Plunkett with
Meredith Skunk (left) along with Mike Russell and Vicki Fox performing a duet.
Meredith's debut was at the FVS the night before. (Both Meredith and Vicki
belong to Mike Russell. You can find out more about Vicki Fox and her friends
at The World of Vicki Fox website.)
And the mainstay of the PawPet Theater, the PawPets themselves along with their Pawpeteers (who remain hidden behind the blue curtain!)
Introducing: The Squirrelles!
A new record was attained at Midwest Furfest: 10 Ferrets performing at
once! Count 'em! Ten! (Don't forget the one on the top curtain! Must've
been pretty crowded vehind that lower curtain!)
Gracie performing solo. I have a special feeling for this PawPet. I think she's one of Steve's cutest. Must be that wholesome girl-next-door look. :)
Steve Plunkett, the originator of the Pawpeteer group, with Scarlet. You can get more information on the PawPets and Pawpeteering at the PawPets Web Site.
Lining up for Furries on Parade! I was fortunate (gullible?) to help during the Furry Parade this year, so here we are in the "green room." The fur parade is provided as a means for fursuiters (those who develop, construct, or wear fursuit costumes) to show off their latest costumes and create photo opportunities for the con attendees. We had 38 costumed individuals in this year's fur parade!
Bears and huskys...just natural hams! Those arctic folks will do anything to get noticed! And no doubt they were quite confortable while I, on the other hand, was freezing my tush off in the 30+ degree Chicago temperatures!
There's definitely no bull about it! It was a great con!
While we had 38 fursuits in the parade, only 9 registered for the masquarade,
which is a pity. Here they gather for a group photo session. There were some
great fursuits there! Almost everyone won a prize...a few several. Sorry I
don't remember who all won what...
This "Phin" corners Babs Bunny and Hysenflay for a group mug shot! Yes, I know I'm wearing a Pepe LePew shirt...all my 'phin shirts were in the wash!
One of the most striking costumes was of Zig Zag, a character created by Max Black Rabbit (who shows up below) and currently appearing on Sabrina On-Line. That's a lot of black and white stripes to make! Whew!
One of the more popular activities of the fursuiters and con go'ers alike is
the Furry Dance. This year there were actually two dances. An "oldies" dance
(all songs prior to 1980.) 1980? Oldies? Do you know how that makes me
feel? I remember these songs! Oy! The second dance which followed this one
was more techno oriented. So we had something for everyone!
"Everybody Conga!!" Hysenflay shows off her Conga form to Babs Bunny, while the line marches along behind her!
"Hang six, Moon Bunny!" Babs demonstrates her surfing skills while the tiger
rows out on the catamaran as "Hawaii 5-0" blares through the dance floor
The con's Guest of Honor, Bill Holbrook. Creator of "Kevin and Kell", "On the FastTrack", and "Safe Havens."
Here's Max! Max Black Rabbit, that is. Artist extraordinaire and creator of Zig Zag...the skunk most sought after by furry fanboys! Style Wager, co-creator of Dela the Hooda was also on hand...and I didn't get his picture! Whah!!
Findra (on the left) and Teddy Ruxpin finish their presentation of how to
produce streaming Real Video presentations for the web. Teddy and
Findra produce the PawPet West Theater productions which are "aired" on Sunday night
at 7:00 pm Eastern time on the Funday PawPet Show.
Catch their act...unless you don't want to feel good!
"I can't believe I made it through another one!" As the con winds to a close on
Sunday, Rapid T. Rabbit and folks take a moment to kick back their heels,
paws, bunny feet, whatever, and relax. But don't get too relaxed, folks. There's
still "The Trip Home!"