PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh has been invaded by a rare species with its own unique animal instincts.
It's convention weekend for the Furries, and Saturday, hundreds of humans lined up to witness one of their main events – the Fursuit parade.
PHOTO GALLERY: Anthrocon 2017 Furries Parade
The summer spectacle has become a Pittsburgh tradition. You don't need a convention ticket to get up close and personal with some of the striking species when you can be a spectator at the annual Fursuit parade.
"I'm just fascinated! I think they're so much fun," one parade-goer said.
But there's more than fun and frolic under all that fur. Tedious craftsmanship transforms everyday humans into mythical beasts and whimsical characters with anthropomorphic features.
"I'm thoroughly enjoying it," another spectator said. "It's less unsettling than I thought it would be."
And that curiosity is a key component of the Anthrocon convention.
"I'm a furry photographer," a Furry named Alyster said. "I'm taking pictures of how humans react to Furries."
"I think it's just that everybody's very, very friendly. There's a lot of happiness, you know," parade-goer Monika Sardella said. "Everybody treats each other like they know each other, and they're part of this whole big family, and that's awesome."
Veteran Furries have seen it evolve -- from fur to feathers, from scales to fins.
"It's just so wild, so big," veteran Furry Derick Heyward said. "It makes you feel a part of something."
Perhaps inspiring a whole new generation of Furry fandom to get in touch with their wild side.
"You get to be in a Furry suit, and everyone likes you," a young spectator said.
Anthrocon officials said 1,890 Furries participated in the 2017 parade.
There is a charitable component to Anthrocon as well, as some of the proceeds are donated to animal organizations.
for more features.