Posted For: Willie Wonka
They had a great time, that’s “fur” sure.
Furries from across the globe, many donning anthropomorphized animal costumes, took over a Hyatt hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, for the world’s largest furry convention last weekend.
The Midwest FurFest welcomed thousands of participants from over 50 countries spanning every continent except Alaska, the convention said.
The four-day fuzzy fete was simply a celebration of the “culture of furry,” assistant director of programming Sarah Newcomer said.
“It’s a place for everyone to come together. It’s an incredibly inclusive event,” she said.
Newcomer said that a majority of furry friendships are manifested online and that Midwest FurFest offers a space for individuals to connect in-person through a plethora of activities.
The itinerary included escape rooms, virtual reality gaming, writing seminars, art shows and much more.
The convention, most importantly, provided a safe space for a community that often finds itself on the tail end of many demeaning jokes.
When I was growing up I felt really alone, and the furry community is what kind of helped me get socialized and find some of the best friends in the entire world,” said Storm as she was embraced by two of her furry friends
Browning, a deer furry, said the convention provided a place for introverted people to get out of their comfort zone.
“It’s a way to express yourself,” Browning said. “But when you come here, you’re among a whole bunch of other people that share a common interest. it allows you to express yourself and you don’t really feel any fear anymore of doing so.”
“I highly encourage anybody to come and check one of these out. They’re a lot of fun,” said Theo, who wore a bright pink costume. “And who knows? You’ll never know what you’ll find that will really connect with you. There’s stuff here for everybody.”
In addition to being a multi-day party, Midwest FurFest attendees made sure to give back to some real-life fuzzy friends.