Category Archives: Local Events

Spoopy Hijinks for Halloween 2017

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…

Map of Southern California, showing furry centric events going on for Halloween 2017

Known places to haunt and frolic…

  • October 14th: Pumpkin Patch Fursuit Photoshoot (Santa Barbara County)
    More than a couple suiters showed up for last weekend’s event and Blue Hasia is ready to do it all over again.  Brush up your suit, pack the car and get ready to frolic in the corn maze!
  • 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.

Fuzzy Frolic with SoCal FurBQ 2017

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!

Stego Getting the Coals Hot

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.

Paws Up Hello

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.

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Maned Bark Looking Exasperated

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:

With all the camera fiends in attendance, video was inevitable. Enjoy the highlights, filmed by members of our community.

 

Prep-Prep-Prepping: We Have An Update

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 Annual FurBQ: Its A Date! (Sep 23rd)

March has come and we find ourselves with this long awaited piece of news concerning our annual event. While all that wonky webpage stuff was happening, Stego and Kat have been checking into whats possible for FurBQ 2017. As many know, FurBQ traditionally happened in the spring months. However, with the added necessity of using a reserved group area (due to our crowd size) and the changing of some local events, its become necessary to place our annual FurBQ event in the fall.

Last year’s date of September 17th really worked well for us, with that week being just when the weather starts to get comfortable (especially for the fursuiters). However, from talking with the park rangers and Reservations, we learned that October is entirely blocked out due to the parking situation created from Irvine Regional Park’s annual pumpkin patch event.

So, with all that is possible, we have put in our reservation request. The $300 fee has been paid,and we are ready to roll. I can say that with advanced planning (from choosing to do this in the fall only), we will have more time to work on the event and make improvements. Feel free to view the event posting on our calendar and make your plans now.

SoCal Furs FurBQ 2016: 18 Years Of Fun and Fur

Well! That sure was fun! Over a week later, we can now say we have recovered from the SoCal Furs End of Summer FurBQ. In fact, we have been using the week to reflect and take it all in….

First of the Morning Fursuiters

First two fuzzies at FurBQ

As usual, FurBQ began at 3:30 when our alarm sounded, we hopped out of bed, and got into our pre-packed car. Making the journey from San Bernardino, we ran into a bit of off-peak construction before making our way to the 91. In addition to traffic, we looked to the skies (and weather reports), and found that any lingering concerns about rain was eased. We arrived at the park just minutes before it opened, watching the sky light up as the sun rose to meet us.

While Stego went to add signs along the park road, Kat and friend Howlie parked at the site and began uploading. Within a short time, others showed up. Help was offered, which we took, and soon we formed areas for food as different things were brought. Signs got placed along the perimeter. One of the early arrivals had a whole setup for offering a morning coffee hour, with extra tables and carafes greeting a surprised Kat.

By about 10:45, there was a steady stream of furs trickling in. Our group had started to use parking in lots a site or two over so we needed help in bringing people’s food up while the other party parked at a lot farther away. Throughout the day, the crowd grew and by lunch hour, it seemed that we had a more dramatic increase of people coming. We even had some entertainment by the father of one of our attendees, as he had brought his guitar.

A group of furs from San Diego came up and set up a changing tent, encouraging us to grab some Gatorade and water to place in the tent so people could hydrate when they wanted to have a break from fursuiting. While our food supply was constantly added to by new arrivals, it was around 4:30 when we started to actually see a dent in key items like water, soda and Gatorade. Just like ice, these are the items that we can never have too much of.

FurBQ Afternoon Crowd

Event in full swing, with nice weather and some shade under all these trees.

From those brand new to fandom to the people who have attended over many years, we can say this is an event where you can be surrounded by furries at any given time. At the same time, the nearby areas (not part of Group Area 3) gave people enough space if they felt overwhelmed from the crowd. Even some of our long time friends (that we had not seen in forever) ended up stopping by. We counted about 190-215 furs attending at the peak time of our event. Stego and Kat considered that the money for the reservation was well spent because, while there were a lot of us, it was easy for our crowd to move around the space and not feel cramped.

Even the Rangers would make a point to stop by our area, sometimes to check on us and other times to take in the colorful costumes. Sometime in the afternoon, our Ranger contact came by and asked if we could help get pictures of the fursuiters with some of the other park staff. Since the other staff could not leave the gate area of the park, the Ranger had an empty truck. Yalta Wolf took the passenger seat and then 4 more furs were placed in the back. We would love to see how the pictures turned out.

Once 6:30 came, it was time to close up shop. We started cooling the grill down and others helped consolidate food and other items into piles so we could sort further and get things put away. When you have furries frolicking in costume, its expected that we expand out of our space a bit so we even tackled areas outside of the Group Area #3 boundaries. I would say we had a decent handful of helpers and, after 2 hours, we could safely say that we got the picnic grounds back to the way they were (but also hopefully even cleaner and trash-free).

Important Thank Yous

First off, we would like to thank our donors that helped with the initial reservation costs. Those donors are as follows: DoodlestheGreat, YashaTaur, Ultimus (SixLeafClover), Sandoz The Megatherium and Joran Zero

  • Thank you to Irvine Regional Park, and its staff, for helping us acclimate to the new area and the reservation process. We would like to thank the rangers who came by to check on us and who helped with parking issues.
  • Our “grillmasters” were Leo Tsubasa, Stego, and Blaze Arctic, and a few others who briefly stepped into service. Having 3+ grills in the main area meant a lot more to look after as we cooked. Stego really appreciated the help, as did Leo.
  • We thank Parawolf for bringing a massive coffee setup (complete with folding tables) for the morning crowd. Also thanks to UberVoop for coming out here and bringing a heaping helping of meat to start our morning/afternoon with. We also got some tasty treats that made great additions to the table.
  • As always, it seems the San Diego Furries come up with a great setup for fursuiters. With their tent, furries had a way to change clothing without having to cram themselves in a bathroom stall. With encouragement from us, they also made sure to keep furries from dehydrating or overheating. Thanks so much, guys!
  • To Trigger Happy Squirrel, thanks so much for your efforts to reduce our trash and recyclables every year. As the sun set and people were leaving, he stepped in and helped clean up the picnic areas and all areas we had occupied for that day. Because he had enough room to carry multiple trash bags, it made a difference in how many trash bags were piled up for the park staff to deal with.

Thanks to the countless furs that contributed food or supplies which kept the food flowing. We are also grateful for people who brought and shared items that gave people fun activities as the day went on.


From our first year in this new spot, Stego and I have an idea of things we can do to improve the event for both the guests and for FurBQ staff. We had many people helping with the event as it went on but we can see areas where we might want to get more bodies to help. The place had emptied out by 7:00, leaving around 8-15 of us to clean up the park. With the increase in park space, we had more ground to cover.

We also noticed that the free grill areas did not get used. While we didn’t expect they would get much use (due to this being our first time in this reserved area), next year’s event will likely stress the free grilling areas a lot more so that furries who like a bit more independence know that these areas are available.

With every helpful group of people, our event seems to get better and better. So, if you get a random idea or suggestion for our event feel free to contact us, as we tend to get our planning started early enough before the event.

Lost and Found

Yup. Over the years, we find that more than a few items end up left on the grounds. Here is what currently resides remains for SoCal FurBQ 2016 Lost and Found inventory (Updated 2-22-2017)

  • Green Cutting Board. – FOUND & RETURNED TO OWNER
  • Bag of fur. This was passed to us by another attendee during our previous (2015) event. It has few big pieces in oranges and reds, along with some scrap fur. It was specifically found off to the side near the trash area but we didnt think it was meant to be trashed.
  • Soccer Ball This is another item that was left to us from a previous FurBQ. The ball is mainly white, with red and black accents. If you think that might be yours, please contact us.

Feel free to go directly to our Lost and Found gallery to view these items.


Back from Califur 2016 (and new things happening)

In a swirl of suitcases and action packers, we return home just a bit more refreshed than when we left for Califur 2016. The convention was a combination of old ideas and a new setting to put it all in. Admittedly, we did not have a SIG/panel there at the con this year (first time in a long time) so we dont really have any current updates for you.

However, this doesnt stop us from wanting to ask the community (that went to Califur) for some help in providing our local convention some feedback. For those that attended the convention this past weekend, Califur staff has created this neat survey:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gJnY0WPxSDb46etjG8M7ZINS8vw7FcVaB1M8XAOxIVI/viewform


SoCalFurs is undergoing some changes of our own. Admin (and staff) changes have happened and we are working on dealing with the results of those changes. None of this really relates to the (rescheduled) 2016 FurBQ. That is still on for September 17th, and we will post more information as we get that taken care of.

For now, we look forward to stuff heating up for June and July, and hopefully that means more events for our calendar (but feel free to let us know of your event by submitting to our form.

Quick FurBQ Announcement

As a quick announcement: The 2016 SoCalFurs Furbeque will be on Saturday, May 7th!

While it was not the winner of the poll, the May 21st date was not available to us at the time of our booking. (Looks like someone reserved the spot before we did) May 7th was the next most popular date chosen – and available! So, the paperwork has been submitted and the spot was officially reserved.

With the fact that SoCalFurBQ is now in a paid group reserved area of the park, there is alot of information and things for SoCalFurs staff to go over. A full announcement (complete with extensive information) will follow sometime towards the end of March/start of April.

Thanks for voting, and we hope to see you all at the Furbeque!

FurBQ Recon Mission Report

One of the things done during that trip to the Prancing Skiltaire was to visit Irvine Regional Park to get the scoop on what could be in store for the SocalFurs FurBQ this spring.

In talking to the ranger on Saturday, we learned one thing …. our FurBQ is definitely going to require us to plan even further in advance simply because people have already begun reserving these areas in May, despite that this is 3 months away.  Of course this requires additional resources and planning now that we are no longer in the “free to the first person” picnic areas.

From pricing and specific location within the park, we have found a great spot that can hold the size of our crowd:

The Good Stuff

  • 3 Grilling Areas – BBQ Grills are scattered around this group picnic area.  Each one is off to the side and therefore will keep foot traffic near hot grills to a minimum. With more grills to use, this may mean we can designate one or two of them for dietary accommodations (e.g. fish allergies, vegan diet, etc..)
  • Plenty of shade – The seating area sits under a canopy of trees. This should keep guests and our grillmasters out of the sun and help prevent overheating.
  • Cement surfaces in the grilling areas – For years, we have had to spend a bit of our prep time making sure we have room for food prep.  While we will need to get some plastic covering for the 2 cement “tables”, we now have many more surfaces to work with.
  • Open field for sports – While not part of the reserved area, there is an open grassy field where people can play volleyball, frisbee and other activities where a large area is needed.  This area exists a short distance away, but is far enough away from the hazards of our grilling and eating areas.

The Not-So-Great

  • Parking  – OC Parks offers no reserved parking with any of the group picnic areas. Parking wont be any worse than before, so we will need to remain considerate of other guests at the park by not blocking right-of-ways.  This site has 2 parking lots nearby that are first-come-first-served. From there, people will have to find whatever parking available and be prepared for a walk to/from the picnic grounds.
  • Less Bathroom Stalls – This group area is located towards the back of the park, which still has yet to get its modern upgrades.  The bathrooms closest to this site are not unisex bathrooms like our old lot.  The “men’s” bathroom has 3 small stalls and 3 urinals.  The “women’s” bathroom has 4 stalls.  There is another set of bathrooms in the field area nearby, but it will require a walk.

Where do we go from here? Lets Decide!

During our visit, we got a list of days that are still available for booking this area. Once the $300 reservation payment is submitted, the spot is reserved.  Because reservations are first-come, first-served, we need to be quick about it. Please use this poll to choose what you want to be as our FIRST CHOICE when we set up our reservation with OC Parks.

What weekend should we book for our annual FurBQ?

 This poll was closed

The above poll will close as of Saturday, February 27th, at 23:59. Second and third choices will be gathered based on what comes in 2nd and 3rd place.