The signs of fall are here but I admit it kind of snuck up on me. Really, October waits for no one. Among restoration of our event galleries, we also had a good helping of new events to add to our calendar. Within that mix, there were more than just a couple events geared towards Halloween folly…
October 28th:OC Fur Meet (Orange County)
The monthly meet for Orange County encourages a Halloween spirit. Come frolic with the OC Furs and make costumed mischief in the park!
October 28th:Riverside Ghost Walk (Riverside County)
Follow the bouncy tail of a lion, and he will lead you on a night of frolicing in Downtown Riverside. People come to the nearby Mission Inn for the ghost tour and there will be nightlife to terrorize with cute fluffiness.
October 31st:Halloween Spooktacular Festival Fur Walk (Los Angeles County)
Family friendly trick or treating event in the Montrose Shopping Park. Fursuits are encouraged (but please keep props and costumes to PG13 rating) to come out trick-or-treating. Free to attend (but you will get hungry). Make sure to bring water for braving the crowds.
The Inland Empire Furry Association (IEFA) had moved its "downtown meet" over to an area west of downtown riverside, and took a walk after enjoying coffee. Fursuiters were encountered at the local bark park and walkway area.
FurBQ is SoCal Furs' annual barbecue and picnic, hosted by Stego S. Aurus and organized by Kat. Furries attend from all over Southern California, meeting and making conversation. Fursuiters can play in the nearby grassy fields, among people playing sports. Hang with us in Irvine Regional Park.
Sometimes when you find something that is so much fun…. you just gotta bring a friend (or two… or three…). The sheer experience of organizing something this big for this many people is astounding. With a few breaths taken, we have our post-FurBQ report..
Everything is due for a change, and our event is no exception. Our day began with both cars packed and loaded. Turned out, one more friend needed the ride this year. Undeterred by the early schedule, Kat reached their house around 4:45. She actually ended up getting there before Stego. She wasn’t even the first to arrive. Lo and behold, there were at least 3 other people in the parking lot near our reserved area. Within minutes someone had donned a fursuit. You guys are arriving earlier and earlier!
A patient grillmaster…
Signs went up where possible, with a few additions from the year before. Easels were placed at the front and back of the site, displaying helpful guidelines for our event, our donor list, and of course we added the orange “Tripping Hazard” signs for safety. We also placed some more humorous signs on our trees to encourage mindfulness. Contributions of food, sodas and ice were trickling in. By the time Stego arrived we had a small pile going. Leo had also come to set up his own grilling area. He even made pancakes!
When fellow fur Ubervoop arrived, we were in for a surprise. Presented to us was a colorful banner for SoCal Furs, Kat and Stego’s community website that posts local furry events. Featured was a stegosaurus cooking, along with Tamerlaine and Noah in different poses. We were so surprised at how snazzy it looked and we think other people enjoyed it as well.
The day began to fly as Stego began the first rounds of burgers. Kat spent tim between the picnic area, the side field areas and the parking lot. Chance and the San Diego furs arrived just before the lot really got full, a big brand new changing tent in tow. Once the two tents were up, it wasnt long before people were using that to change, no more need to do it in the parking lot. Kat was happy to have a place to direct suiters to, and the tent was in full swing practically all day.
The weather was quite the happy medium on FurBQ day, which meant alot of people were suiting up. With the given time of 3pm for the group shot, early afternoon started to be where we could really see our peak population (around 185 people on site at once), with many all suited up and being herded by a happy Chance Dragon.
It seemed like in a blink, afternoon turned to evening. We began doing our end-times trash detail around 5:45pm. Trashclaws came out and I brought out the rake to get all the small fiddly bits. As we neared our 9pm “clear out” deadline, we did find a few odds and ends left that didn’t look like stuff meant to be trashed. Yup, another “lost and found” gallery for this year. Check it out if you have something missing. We got quite the mix.
We Thank You All (Important Notes Below)
All day, Stego and Kat ran into friends — both those returning for another FurBQ and for people we had not seen in forever. Seems our event is about getting that mix of old and new connections, with about 225 total seen throughout the day. As the event grows, we consider things we can do to improve.
Dividing of the food supply created inconsistencies and made it hard to estimate what we had plenty of (vs what we ran out of). Maybe if we had someone to just handle receiving food contributions, we could get things more equally divided among the 2 front grilling areas (to the left where Stego was and the bigger area that Leo was using)
Parking — Our group is quite large and that means we need to be responsible on how we park. I know people dont like walking from other lots but, we cannot just make our own spots. Rangers were coming by to enforce orderly parking. While there were other cars (from other groups) parking illegally, I caught a few of our people doubling up on parking spaces. Others were trying to save space by parking at angles, despite any lines drawn out by the park. Kat did attempt to address the issue but was met with a bit of an attitude. Seriously guys… lets be better about this, and be kind to our neighbors.
2017 brought some extra uninvited guests — bees, yellow jackets and wasps. We are certain that a hive was nearby, finding one possible source from the ground Sadly, the person that usually brings a recycle bin with a lid didn’t show up so the sticky tops of soda bottles were hard for them to resist. There were enough of our flying friends that the simple act of having an open soda can could attract them.
People attending definitely noticed the amount of them. Atop that, we did find one contributing factor — “bee bombs” . A napkin was placed upon a paper plate with sweet tasting food on it. Then soda was poured on it, the napkin soaking it up. We would like to think this was someone’s ill placed intention to attract the bees/yellow jackets away from the site, but the placement of these was far too close to areas where lots of people are. One was even found just next to the changing tent. Kat and the help of a “bee whispering” friend allowed us to delicately take care of the soaked plates, but it definitely was an unhappy experience. We hope this does not become a thing and now our staff has one extra thing we have to look out for during next year. If you know anything about this behavior, please reach out to us.
With those tidbits out of the way, here are some photos showing the fun that can be had at SoCal Furs’ annual FurBQ.
More can be seen in the FurBQ 2017. Special thanks to Mesic Fox for providing some of the pictures.
There are some awesome photographers at our event, so if you want more furry photos, check out:
Labor Day has given way for rainstorms (yes… in August) and it has drawn us inside. While we have been cooped up, we have begun the annual “crunch time for FurBQ”. Stego and Kat have been looking over supplies, making lists and otherwise keeping track of all that awaits us in 3 weeks. We got the reservation, and a budget for meat (and starter items for our early crowd), and we are almost ready to go
… however, we have decided to do some rearranging of our space within our rented group area (Group Area 3). Please look at our updated calendar entry, which gives all information about our event and includes info about our FREE grilling areas for those that like to get proactive about cooking good food.
Regarding other events, we have been checking in with organizers and our September and October months have gotten some returning events, as well as some modifications. Please check out the calendar to see all the updates.
Making New Connections
If you havent yet connected, check out the SoCal Furs Network (as well as in our sidebar) to find the network that works best for you. One addition is that we now have a Facebook page. In working within our community, and with some patience for Facebook itself, we can now get the information flowing there. Its only a simple page right now, but we are using it as a way to gather Facebook event postings from things that appear on our calendar.
SoCal Furs has always had our vixen Tamerlaine as our official mascot. However, we ran this contest so we could have a counterpart. Noah (design by Yeep!) was chosen and so we have worked it into our material.
Ethan the Jackrabbit by BG Arts
Ethan the Jackrabbit by BG Arts
From the artist, BG Arts: I thought I'd do a desert creature since I'm from there! Also thought I'd give him a skateboard as I always think of Southern California young males on skateboards on their off time.
Ethan is not impressed easily. He's seen it all. He might have done whatever crazy thing that you think is so "extreme!" and lived to tell the tale. Sure, he's had more than his share of broken bones and gotten in trouble more times than he can count, but hell, he had the time of his life doing it.
Picture from background was taken by the dorms of UCR a few years ago by myself.
"Winter in California? HA! You'd have to go pretty far if you want to see even a little bit of snow... whatever that is. Here in SoCal, the only seasons we have are: Hot and Windy, Hot and Humid, Warm and Windy, then Slightly-Less-Warm and Dry."