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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.

 

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.