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Furrydelphia: Philly's fourth bite at the furry apple

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Philly Metro's "Inside Philly's first furries convention" offers a compelling summary of our fandom's latest (and quite successful) convention. But its title betrays a lack of research. While Drayne and his team are to be congratulated for bringing a new furry convention to the City of Brotherly Love, it is by no means the Demolition of the Adams Mark Hotel. 
© Douglas Muth (Giza); used under CC-BY-SA 4.0 first… nor even the largest furry con held there.

The first honour belongs to Furtasticon, chaired in November 1994 by Trish Ny – which was also furry fandom's second convention, spun up in the space of a few months, allegedly after perceived anti-furry sentiment at Philcon. [Drayne was being born at the time, but was aware of prior events.]

Then there's Furstivus, which drew 238 – organized by SkippyFox and friends on short notice to replace 2012's New Year's Furry Ball. One must also consider the giant next door, Anthrocon.

Founded in 1997 in Albany, NY, this behemoth moved to Philly in 2001, having become the largest furry convention in the world while in Valley Forge. It left for Pittsburgh in 2006 after the purchase and ultimate demolition of its favoured hotel, the Adams Mark, by Target. [Anthrocon duly auctioned the hotel's "last brick", raising $200 for the Western PA National Wild Animal Orphanage.]

Why did AC choose the Steel City? As its erstwhile chairman tells it, a bottle of wine was involved – along with a folder stuffed with anthrocon.org printouts. In truth, such events tend to grow rapidly; and while furries are known for their enthusiasm, our community trends young, and cannot always afford the best in life. If Philadelphia wishes to keep this new event, its hotels and event spaces must remain available, accommodating… and affordable.

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If I may indulge in a little self-promotion, my “Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015” includes descriptions of 1994’s FurTasTiCon, 2011’s Furstivus, and the Anthrocons in Philadelphia from 2001 to 2005. The Philly Metro can be forgiven for not knowing furry fandom’s history in Philadelphia, but Furrydelphia’s organizer Drayne should have known and clued the writer in. This ignorance of furry fandom’s history is exactly what my book is meant to correct.

Fred Patten

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To be fair to Drayne, it's unlikely he knew about the story's title, or it probably wouldn't have said "furries convention". Whether he claimed it was the first such convention in Philly is less clear, but in any case it's a Metro fact-checking fail. The convention tagline "Philadelphia's Very Own Furry Convention!" might have something to do with it.

Edit: Drayne says he and the staff were "very aware of Philly's history of fur cons", and "never meant to imply that Furrydelphia was the first". Meanwhile, Metro's Cassie Hepler says she was "just reporting what people told me".

Random note: Furrydelphia is a 501(c)(3), but wants to be a 501(c)(7).

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The headline isn't the story's only error that could have been avoided with quick fact-checking, such as "'Adopts,' furry lingo for a random fur suit," and "Antrocon," a convention in Pittsburgh which had 7,544 attendees "in the very first year."

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I was there! (and at Furstivus)
It was definitely a good time.
Went to Anthrocon from 2002-2005, the Adams Mark actually felt like a second home.
And I really liked it in Scenter City during 2005. Right by the food carts for $3.50 cheesesteaks.

I will be there next year, and I definitely hope it sticks around.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Kai Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.