PITTSBURGH (AP/KDKA) – It was a colorful collection of fur, fun and friends on Saturday.

The folks who call themselves the Furries descended on Pittsburgh, gathering for the second annual Fursuit Walk around the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

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“I honestly think they are so personable – they’re very friendly – and last year somebody let them put the head on. Everybody is just really nice – and we are really excited to have them in Pittsburgh,” one woman said.

This weekend’s celebration marks the 20th anniversary of Anthrocon, therefor this year’s theme is “Roaring Twenty.” Furries are people who celebrate anthropomorphism which, simply put, means people who like to celebrate the human traits that can be found in animals or animal characters, like Bugs Bunny.

To help celebrate, Razz and Tycoon took over Studio K during the Friday morning cut-in with KDKA-TV.

About 1,500 of the 6,500 people were expected to attend the convention dress up in full-body suits that make them appear to be animal characters. Those folks, in particular, are known as “furries” though the label can apply to those who don’t dress up either.

Others just like to celebrate animal characters in movies, TV shows, comic books and other media. The convention started in Albany, New York, but moved to Pittsburgh 11 years ago.

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“Anthrocon’s been here for 11 years and there’s 6,500 people in attendance this particular year.  They’ve grown every single one since they’ve been here,” Craig Davis of VisitPittsburgh told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

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“What is there not to like about Pittsburgh?” adds John Cole.

Cole, who dresses as a tiger, is events and program director for Anthrocon.

“Pittsburgh is a fun city to be in, and it’s absolutely fantastic.  I think it’s one of the greatest American cities that we have.”

The Westin Convention Center hotel even flies the Anthrocon flag, and local businesses attract Anthrocons with signs, T-shirts, and special bowls, says co-owner Al Budak.

Delano:  “You actually serve the food in a dog dish?”

Budak:  “Yes, not everyone, but if they ask for it.”

It runs through Sunday.


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