In the words of Cyndi Lauper "I drove all night to get to you."

November 18-20, 2011
Rosemont, IL at the O’Hare Hyatt Regency

https://www.furfest.org/

Midwest Furfest is an annual convention that takes place in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Furries come together to celebrate the fandom that is; art, literature and performances based around anthropomorphic characters.

Midwest Furfest has grown over the years (this is the twelfth year) making it the third largest furry convention in the world.

This is my first time attending Midwest Furfest. I have been a furry at heart for the longest of time and not until the past few years had I really delved into the furry lifestyle. I owned a Jaguar fursuit from the now closed Realms of Enchantment that has seen some life at various events, children's museum and at the zoo. I have upgraded this past August to a new partial wolf that has been named BINKS Wolf since most of my friends call me BINKS.

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Before Midwest FurFest I commissioned an artist, Jess - Albino-Kitsune to create my MFF con-badge. Since the theme this year is Route 66 she put BINKS Wolf in a motorcycle jacket. I think it is very awesome. I just love it when an artist makes their rendition of one of my characters.

The con-badge is the final scan sent to me and not the actual badge which even more awesome. This is not shown in actual size it is much larger as you can see in some of the pictures where it hangs on my belt.

Jess does other types of art as well and is very talented. If you would like some art by Jess please e-mail her and tell her I sent you her way.

 

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I arrived to Midwest FurFest and already furries were dressed and walking around. After I had checked into my hotel room, got things setteled in, freshened up a bit from the long drive in, I put on my black cat tail and my vibram's that I had modified by adding the claws onto. I then went and picked up my sponsorship badge at registration / badge pick-up. I had several people stop me in the hallway commenting on how cool my shoes were and even had some people take pictures. A person or two who know me asked why I had the cat tail on when I am a wolf? I told them my wolf tail is for BINKS Wolf and he will be out later.
Anyways, Yes I believe in the furry fandom so much I purchased a sponsorship badge for my very first Midwest FurFest. After several meet and greets with many hugs I knew this was going to be an amazing weekend.

After I picked up my badge and sponsorship bag I went back to my room to see what was in it. There were lots of furry related goodies from some art prints, a license plate, a t-shirt voucher and much more. Now it was time to go walk around and enjoy the con before suiting up.

After I had my badges I walked the various rooms to see what was all going on. Seriously there is so much stuff going on that there is no way you could partake in it all.


I made it to the opening ceremonies of MidWest FurFest 2011. It was a nice introduction of the weekend and the fun to be had. Met some of the people in charge for running such an event and it was now time as it was said for the furry fun to officially begin.


My favorite furry of them all, a TaunTaun. See even in the furry world there is Star Wars!
Thank you Abrahm for taking this quick pict on my camera.
*On Saturday night I saw a fur dressed in an X-Wing Pilot outfit.

Hell Yeah! Gauge and Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic! Ponies Rule!

As I walked around and attended some panels I had several people come up to me and say "BINKS!" like they knew who I was. To my surprise more people than I have realized knew who I was. I have not been open or public about being a furry for long but I guess it does not take long for the word to get out. I met lots of old and familiar faces along with some new people who I will never remeber their names (sorry) unless I keep running into them but it was good to meet people and make some new friends. That is what makes the furry community so wonderful, no matter who you are you will always have a friend.

I attended the Introduction to PawPet panel. I thought it would be good for me to listen in. I learned a thing or two that I did not know about puppets and had a good time learning and practicing some puppet techniques. Even got to keep the ping-pong eyes that we got to use.

I then went to attend the panel on Presenting Fury Fandom to the Public. This is a topic being a costumer for the past 15-years or so has a serious emotional issue with me. I will not get into it here but there are some disturbing thoughts or views about being a furry thanks to the ill-will of the media.
I troop in several Star Wars costumes with the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion, have done mascoting for the zoo and even put on the superhero tights on ocassion. Sometimes negative things are said about people in costume and this is true about wearing a fursuit as well but on a much more deeper and darker level. This is due to the negative image that media has spawned about furries. So when someone asks you "What is this all about or what is a furry?" You can reply with a simple answer, "We are fans of cartoon animals." That is a simple and basic answer that the media cannot turn around and make it look bad just for the ratings. A lot was learned from this panel and I think it is a must for all furries to attend at least once.

From there I walked through the artist's area and the dealer's room. Lots of cool furry stuff for all. Having only a partial suit at this time I have been wanting to get the body for BINKS Wolf done. I talked to a few of the fursuit construction people that were there and I am hoping within the next year to get my body sewn. On the other hand I do have an incomplete green kitty I have been working on. I need the head. I talked to a few of the people and it is real promising in getting a head constructed within the next few months if I have the extra money to do so.

I then went and got a bite to eat at the hotel's restraunt. After I had finished eating I ran into a friend of mine who was staying at the same hotel. He was there for the car show going on and NOT for the furry convention. We hung out a bit to catch up and then he had to go do his thing. I went back to my room to change into BINKS Wolf. I walked around getting lots of photos taken having a good time and receiving some hugs.

I heard of something called the Greymuzzle Meet which is for 30+ people to have a meet and greet. I thought there would be people my age there but when I saw it was much older people I decided not to go in. From there I ran into one of my fur friends and we went to go see Whose Lion is it Anyways? It is an improve type of comedy that really had me laughing at times. It was good fun.

I was making my way back to my room when I ran into my friend again. He was done for the evening and I was ready to go take a shower and call it a night. But we hung out in my room staying up late and instead of having him go up to his room he just stayed with me for the night. :)


BINKS Wolf did not want to get out of bed in the morning but he did and took his shower.
These and other goofy picts were taken.

So Saturday morning I got up and there was nothing really going on until late morning so I went and got my sponsorship brunch. Knowing I was going to be suited up for most of the day I only had a plate of fruit with some apple juice. Two of my new furry friends that I met at the con ate with me and were already suited up. After we ate they came with me to my room as I suited up and BINKS Wolf was going to have a productive day at MidWest FurFest.

Went and checked out the Performing in Fursuit panel. Having been a costumer for many years now I kind of knew what to expect. Many of the topics discussed were for the "newbies" but also a nice refresher for things not practiced for a while now. I found it informative. Remember know your limits.

Then it was time for the best part of any fur con, the FURSUIT PARADE! All of the furries meet up and got a gift, a really cool slate grey bandana that says midwest furfest with a racoon on it just for suiting up and being part of such a wonderful event. Each and everyfurry worn their bandana with pride. Then we made our way though the hotel up and down a level and to the outside where the group picture was to be taken. Remember now, this was not all the furries, there were more who did not participate in the parade.


My friends and I decided to stay near the side so we could find ourselves in the picture later.
The total final count was 574 fursuits in the Fursuit Parade.


After spending the time outside for the group picture I just made it to the Furries, an Outsiders Perspective panel. Again with the limited knowledge that society has about the furry fandom this was something I wanted to sit in on. Like the panel the day before several topics that came up were similiar. We as furries have to accept for the time being that the general public does not understand the fury fandom and it will take time, a lot of time for them to do so.

I went to an area near the headless lounge and I saw a group of furries gathering so I went to see what was going on. They were setting up a dance to be video taped. I was asked if I wanted to be in the music video but I declined. As the music played the furs did their thing from several angles and takes. Being into film it was fun to watch.

As I continued to explore the halls and having more pictures taken of me (BINKS Wolf) I was pulled to the side by one of the volunteers from the Animal Education and Rescue in Liberyville, IL. The volunteer loved the way BINKS Wolf looked, she asked me if I would take a few photos while holding a puppy. Being an animal lover I could not refuse. Plus the puppy was so cute and adorable. As I held the puppy you could tell he or she was getting really comfortable in my soft and warm furry hands. I e-mailed the AE&R if they could send me the photos and they did.


The puppy is so cute. I think he felt comfortable in my soft paws. Hope he found a good home.

From there several of us went to the Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind show. Basically there are thirty plays that will be acted out in one hour with audience participation. Some of the skits were very funny, some might have been rude and a few really heart felt tender moments. I have never laughed and somewhat cried as much as I did in a long while. Attending MidWest FurFest really is an emotional ride.

After that I went to the Furry Smackdown: Cartoon Edition panel. Basically they took two random cartoon animals and paired them off to see who would win in a fight. This went on for several rounds only until one toon was left. Not really all that great but it was something to kill some time before the Furry Variety Show.

The Furry Variety Show was good. Several furries performed their acts some were really fun some not so but I have to say my favorite and the one that made me cry was when a group of furries came out and sung the song "Different" - Mama Cass Elliot from the H.R. Pufnstuf movie. Though at a furry convention you are surrounded by people who share the love of the furry fandom I realized how hard it is to be different than what society expects out of you. From there I went back to my room and took a shower for having been suited up all day. I realized that I have not had anything to eat since brunch and I was not hungry but I made myself eat a banana from the food that I have brought with me.

After taking a break I was ready to wonder the hotel some more. Again more pictures were taken, games and music played, some furry goofing off, hugs and more hugs and pictures. Like I said there is so much going on you could never attend it all. I bet there was some amazing things going on. It was getting close to the dance / rave. I met up with one of my furry friends and we made our way over to the dance / rave area. We still had some time so we rested in the alternate headless lounge waiting for the music to begin.

DJ Fur
kept the beats going with his aweome mixes. Furries were dancing, moving and grooving having a good old time with the lights flashing and glow sticks a glowing. We stayed for a little bit and getting hot we decided to go put our heads back in our rooms. His mate met up with him and they went their way. I decided to put my head back on and wonder the halls to see what other late night activities were going on. Hung out around the piano as someone played and several other furries sang and danced to the piano tunes. It was almost midnight and it was time for the Midnight Howl. OU OU OU OU OUOOOOO

After the Midnight Howl I went to my room and got a bottle of water. Not being at all tired and so much going on I made my way back to the dance / rave. Standing off to the side watching what was going on I was focused on a fur I met earlier in the day, he was really moving to the beats. He noticed and pointed at me wanting me to come join the fun. I gestured no and he made his way over to me. Over the loud thumping beats I could not hear what he said to me but he did something that hardly anyone on earth has ever done to me before, he got me out on the dance floor. He basically danced as I tried to mimic some of his moves while moving to the beat the best I can. He moved in close and took my hand leading me in a dance helping loosen me up and move. I admit I was having fun. The next song slowed down a bit and he moved in much closer. He raised my arms over his head and put them around him and his arms came in holding me and we swayed together as one.

With that I now end my time at MFF 2011. When I awoke on Sunday morning I packed up my things and drove back home. I was not going to hang out in the hotel since there was not anything going on until later in the afternoon. Until next year keep being furry my friends.

As many know usually when I attend a con I am usually working and taking an ungodly amount of pictures. This was my time to enjoy a convention for myself for once and not have it be about work. This time I did not take a ton of pictures since I was suited up as BINKS Wolf most of the time having fun. Times like this is when you need someone to attend a con with you to be your handler and photographer.

If any furs read this and have any picts of BINKS Wolf would you
please e-mail them to me.



Evauk and BINKS Wolf