Tails and Tornadoes Fur Con 2021 a Dapper Success Over Labor Day Weekend!
The following is a Newsletter written by the Vice Chair for Tails and Tornadoes, Koori Kitty
After almost two years of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Tails and Tornadoes Fur Con made its triumphant return to the Southern Hills Tulsa Marriott hotel over Labor Day weekend, September 3-5,2021. The convention, led by Koori Kitty (President / Vice Chair) and Mattew (Chair) provided a safe and fun atmosphere for furry convention goers during the weekend. During the event, TTFC raised more than $6000 for their charity, Safari's Sanctuary. In addition, TTFC welcomed more than 568 attendees and over 160 fursuiters in the parade.
This year's convention theme, "Rawring 20's" was originally intended for the event scheduled in 2020, which was to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the "Roaring 20's" era complete with art, dapper costumes and decor. However, due to the pandemic, TTFC along with many other events were forced to postpone. There were many challenges and difficult decisions to be made when planning for the return of furry conventions after what we experienced in 2020. We spent many long hours planning and meeting with various teams, government officials, and our hotel team to ensure attendees not only had the best experience but the safest experience possible
Like many conventions, TTFC implemented a variety of pandemic safety measures, including required mask wearing coupled with vaccine proof or negative test results. The convention took great care in making sure the health of their attendees, staff and guests were priority. Although challenging at first, TTFC's staff came together and sucessfully screened hundreds of guests.
Guests of Honor
This year, TTFC welcomed several Guests of Honor. Unfortunately due to the pandemic and scheduling conflicts, only two were able to physically be present (Pepper Coyote and Omnomnom Squirrel). However, in light of this, a third Guest of Honor Splat (Omnomnom's fiancé), joined attendees for live panels virtually via a creative conference-call setup in real panel rooms.
During the event, TTFC's Guests of Honor actively participated in many activities, including volunteering in the registration line (thank's Pepper!). In addition, Pepper and Omnom threw multiple amazing concerts together in front of hundreds of attendees. Pepper's show, which was acoustic only featured several tracks from his "Blast Radius" album. To give attendees the best experience, he hosted an all-ages (PG/PG-13) show, and then later on in the evening hosted his infamous "After Dark" show, featuring some of his more spicy, popular songs. In addition, Omnom performed a few songs from his rock band, "Run Definitely Run!" for convention goers.
TTFC's "virtual" guest of honor, Splat presented several panels pertaining to running a business, along with fursuit building and care. In addition, she joined her fiance along with Pepper in the popular "Guest of Honor Q&A" panel later during the convention.
Dealers and Art
This year, TTFC expanded its dealer program to include a new "artist alley" space, which expanded the ability of artists and creators to sell their product and build their businesses. 2021 showed an increase in dealer and artist revenue over 2019, leading many artists to announce their plans to return again in 2022.
This year's charity, Safari's Sanctuary based in Broken Arrow, OK is an exotic wildlife rescue supported and driven by local community volunteers. Due to the pandemic, the charity faced many challenges maintaining funding along with staffing required to operate the facility, which is not open to the public. Attendees however were excited to learn more about how they could contribute to this charity, whose sole mission is to give these animals a "forever home" after being rescued from situations where individuals tried to keep them as pets.
The sanctuary provides daily care and veteranary services to each of their 200+ animals, ranging from big cats, wolves, reptiles, birds, and other exotic creatures. Their outreach program, "Zoo2u" is intended to educate the public about the story of each animal, and also to raise awareness of the difficulty of having exotic species as a pet. The sanctuary operates every day of the year, starting at 8am, and is always looking for volunteers. This year, TTFC attendees raised over $6000 in support of this organization.
Planning for 2022
TTFC hopes to do even better than before, encouraging the feedback and input of their attendees and staff members. During closing ceremonies, TTFC announced their new theme for 2022, "Ren-Fur," a medieval / renaissance throwback of the ages. The convention will be held next Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, 2022 at the Southern Hills Tulsa Marriott Hotel. Booking information, and pre-registration details will be made available on the TTFC website sometime in December.