Here is an article (dated August 28) on the Mother Nature Network (a website that provides "environmental and social responsibility news and information"), describing six unusual conventions:
In addition to Mer-Con/Mer-Palooza, the World Toilet Summit & Expo, a Xena Warrior Princess convention, the Reel Awards and Celebrity Impersonators Convention, and ALCON: The Weird Al Yankovic Fan Convention, the article covers Anthrocon.
Where can folks preoccupied with anthropomorphic animal characters — “furries” — gather to socialize, hone their role-playing and gaming skills, partake in acting workshops and roam a cavernous convention hall wearing a homemade fursuit without frightening small children? Why, Pittsburgh of course.
Pittsburgh is home to Anthrocon, a long-running event that’s believed to be the largest annual convergence of the furry fandom on the planet — and there are many, ranging from Further Confusion in San Jose, MidWest FurFest in Illinois, Euroference in Germany and MiDFur in Australia, an event with the 2012 tagline “the Furry Apocalypse Cometh” — with 2012 attendance records topping 5,000 including a parade of more than 1,000 jubilant yet overheated fursuiters (read: attendees wearing animal costumes, not to be confused with stuffed toy enthusiasts known as plushies). First held in Albany in 1997 with an estimated attendance of around 300, when Anthrocon moved to Philadelphia in 2001 attendance leapt into the thousands. When the event once again relocated to Pittsburgh in 2007, the numbers continued to multiply and is now considered one of the city’s top 10 conventions and brings in millions of dollars to the local economy.
The theme for Anthrocon 2012 was “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream” and the associated charity was Hello Bully, a Pittsburgh-based pit bull rescue and rehabilitation group. Special guests included Sardyuon, a fursuiting acrobat from Japan. And on that note, the organizers of Anthrocon were kind enough to outline a comprehensive list of fursuiter etiquette for convention newbies. (“Be careful around suiters, they have limited visibility!”) The furries-in-charge also published what’s perhaps the most unusual convention lost and found page that we’ve ever stumbled across. Anyone leave behind a foxtail, a pair of miniature horns or a “Beware of the Wolf” badge? Anyone?