Maureen O'Connor — Thousands of furries descend on Pittsburgh this weekend, for the sixth annual Anthrocon, America's foremost convention for "anthropomorphics," commonly known as "furries." Participants are already wandering the streets of Steel City, wearing costumes and carrying puppets, posing for pictures with locals, going to raves, and singing "furraoke" while boozing at local bars.
This must be confusing for the children of Pittsburgh.
Furries are expected to spend $5.3 million in four days at the festival, which makes them pretty popular this weekend. Here are some locals talking about furries:
"We love furries," [sandwich shop owner Cory Robinson] said. "They're just people having fun, and they don't hurt anybody." —Sandwich shop owner Cory Robinson
"They love caffeine. We're prepared. We know what they want." —Gift shop owner Tracy Luskovich, gesturing to stockpiles of Mountain Dew
"More fun than the NRA." —Beaver County Times columnist Michael Pound
I have a mild phobia about people in full-face masks. I think it derives from bad childhood experience with a Nutcracker Rat King. Occasionally, I wonder whether a furry horror movie could have the staying power of a Chucky or It. Anyway, irrational fears aside, I applaud the joyous souls of Anthrocon for living their hirsute dreams. May your stay in Teresa Heinz-Kerry's hometown be as fabulous and furry as a ketchup heiress's collection of winter coats. [Post-Gazette, Anthrocon]
Update: As some have noted, Teresa Heinz-Kerry is not a trueborn Pittsburghian, nor is she a current resident! Apologies. Feel free to plug the name of some other, locally relevant rich person into that sentence.