One of the best ways to have fun in this fandom and get to know other furries is to attend the various meetups that take place here and there and everywhere in California. Most places with some presence of furs will have events, but it should be no surprise that in the Southern California – SoCal – fandom there’s plenty of events to choose from, as there’s quite the high concentration of furries in the area. Today I’m going to introduce you to some of the events that I have personally been to. Now I should note that these aren’t the only events – there’s a great deal more out there than what’s here, especially since lots of furs are either taking a shot at starting their own meetup or having their own special annual meetups. Practically all of these meetups are free to attend to, and if you’re in the area and interested come on by! We fuzzies are a friendly lot!
Outdoor Adventures: The FurBQ
The FurBQ is one of the largest events in the SoCal furry fandom, drawing in huge amounts of furs from all over California – and beyond – to the wonderful Irvine Regional Park. A large area is rented out each year in the park for furries to run, play, frolic and have fun. Tons of fursuiters always show up, many physical activities and games are played, some furs bring board and card games, and there’s even a potluck and well as grilled food is served up from the enjoyment of everyone.
The event has been going strong for plenty of years; in fact the 19th FurBQ happened just a few months ago. I’ve only been to the FurBQ twice myself, but each time I’ve had good fun and met both old and new friends alike. It’s a great way for furries to get in touch with their more natural side…though watch out for the parking. It can be quite…difficult.
Spare a Strike: La Habra Furbowling
La Habra Furbowling is a fun monthly event started in 2015 by Takoda Wolfsky, and is hosted at the La Habra Bowling Alley. It draws a decent sized crowd, and both fursuiters and non-suiters participate in the bowling games. Yes, you can bowl in fursuit. From what I’ve heard, it’s quite difficult – and yes, I’ve not bowled yet there. Instead, I turn up for the other major part of this event: just hanging out with fellow furries and relaxing for an evening. The alley itself is somewhat small, but it does have a nice little small diner attached to it that many furs eat at, as well as a small bar, too. A little bit of something for everyone, it seems.
There are some great dining options as well when the games are over and hunger is high. The alley’s diner is pretty nice and serves up some decent portions, and there’s a tiny restaurant within walking distance named The Chicken Box that has some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Though if you’re in the mood for some good old Californian burgers some furs will meet up over at a nearby In-N-Out for burgers. Unfortunately, parking is once again tight at that particular hamburger stand.
Author’s note: Unfortunately, the La Habra Furbowling meetup is no longer active.
Furry House Party: The Prancing Skiltaire
The Prancing Skiltaire – or “The PS” as it’s known among SoCal furs – is an old fur meet over 12 years old started by Rodney and Mark, two older furries (or “grey muzzles” as we call ‘em in the fandom) who helped the fandom find its footing in the earlier days and continue to help out in various ways, such as volunteering yearly for the Califur convention. The inspiration for the event’s name is twofold: a Skiltaire is an alien creature created by Mark, and the idea of calling it “The Prancing Skiltaire” comes from Old English traditions that suggest a place open to travelers.
The event itself is rather laid back – furries are free to come and go, there are movies in the main living room, a nice small relaxing area where often times video games are played, and a small room where folks can play games or use the computers there. There’s also a backyard where plenty of furries gather, hang out, and play board games in, and the front yard is pretty nice as well, with a large tree growing in the front. They even do an annual Secret Santa gift exchange in December! It’s a humble event that used to enjoy big attendance numbers but unfortunately has seen smaller numbers in recent years – despite that, the PS is always there, taking place the second Saturday of every month and with doors open for anyone who wishes to stop by. You gotta find a good parking spot first though. Parking on streets can be hard.
Fun in the Sun: Sunset Beach Bonfire
The Sunset Beach Bonfire is a special meet that, like the FurBQ, takes place only once a year. Only this one takes place at the wonderful Bolsa Chica State Beach. Started by the dynamic duo of Tigon and Mookie Mutt in 2011, this event still continues to go strong and it always draws in huge crowds from all over SoCal and once again, even furs from out of state.
Those who attend will find plenty of warm, sandy fun as the vibrant sun shines down on attendees with plenty of fun to be had: relaxing with friends, playing with beach balls and other inflatable toys, and even swimming. Of course plenty of fursuiters turn up to the even too – though trust me, you ought to be prepared to be cleaning out sand for days if you bring a fursuit or costume to this event! Much like the FurBQ folks tend to bring their own food, and volunteers grill up all kinds of food. And of course, there’s a bonfire. You can’t have a super beach meetup without one of those – and yes, you can roast hot dogs and marshmallows in the fire pits. You just gotta defeat the notorious demon of limited parking.
…I’m starting to notice a pattern here.
Party Central: Tail
Tail is quite the party event that was started in 2015 by Desoto that is hosted at The Executive Suite, an LGBT+ club owned by Lenny Sinatra – and yes, he is a descendant of the Frank Sinatra. Lenny seems to like us furries, and so on the first Friday of every month (and the 3rd Saturday of every other month) opens the club for us furry fellows to dance and party in. Though be warned – this is a more adult oriented event. Aside from it being a 21+ event (it is at a club that serves alcohol) it should be noted that more more…adult apparel is allowed than what would usually be seen at other events. But don’t let that scare you away – we’re still the same friendly fluffs! We just might be a little friskier when the sun sets, the music starts pumping, and the alcohol starts flowing. Check it out:
The Suite is an excellent venue as well: the ground level features pool, karaoke, and bar; the lower level is reserved mainly for furries that want to take a breather as well as for suiters to change in and out of suit; and the upper level is a dance floor with another bar. It’s an exciting, lively event that has a little something for everyone, and even furs that aren’t too into bars and clubs seem to muster themselves up to come on down. Heck I’m not much of a bar bunny myself, but I always make sure to mark my First Fridays off for Tail. The event’s also starting to take off as well, as NorCal furries are starting to appear and we’ve even had some Arizona furries turn up. There’s even an official website up now with announcements and even galleries from furry photographers.
Just…well you probably know the drill about parking now.
So, that’s just a small glimpse of the various events that happen around SoCal. Keep in mind these are only ones I tend to frequent – there’s plenty of other meets such as the Rose Bowl Furry Meet that takes place at the titular Rose Bowl park, and the Downtown Riverside Meet which I heard is pretty awesome. We even have a meet that takes place at an abandoned zoo in LA! Not to mention plenty of furs are starting up their own meets all the time – there’s actually a meet at the Santa Fe Dam that was started recently.
Have you been to a furry event? Got any questions about my own experiences or about meetups in general? Sound off in the comments below. As always thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next time.