After a night of Recuperation, Thought assimilation and reflection, I now present to you the Post-FurBQ Summary:
The Result: Mostly a success, even despite the afternoon rain!
Fursuiters in the Photoshoot with the Park Ranger: 21
What we had an Abundance of this year: Ice
What we ran out of this year: Hamburgers
Total Attendees at Maximum: 144
For the most part, despite the overcastness of most of the day, the FurBQ started Fantastically well and quite normal: By 7am, the spot was already claimed by Ironbadger and Leo was well on his way to cooking breakfast (Which Included Burgers) for the 8-10 furs whom had shown up to help pick up litter left by the previous users and to rearrange the tables.
At this time the conditions were quite typical even for FurBQs we've traditionally held in May: Overcast and slightly misty in the morning, but otherwise All Things were a Go!
Furs began arriving in larger groups: By 10am Parking Lot 10 was already completely full, and Lot 9 was 1/4 full. There was a full compliment of Snacks of all types on the Snack table, a Line of Drink Coolers near the Cutlery table, and the Grill was Hot and Heavy with cooking meats. Fursuits were bouncing around, RC Vehicles being played with, Four-leggers were interacting with people, Music was playing, Fun was being had by all!
This pace kept up through lunchtime: Corn was made, and Leo Tsubasa (The AM Cook) and I traded places at the Grill. The Park Rangers came by, and all the Fursuiters gathered to have their photographs taken with them! It was around 1 where the Max Attendance was counted.
It was right around 2 where we started getting hints of what was to come. With the Trees overhead and the ground staying Mostly dry, we continued cooking, and Furs continued to interact and mingle. Later on we started to notice the impending Sausage Fest, as the Meat Locker became low on Burger patties and Hamburger Buns were running out, yet hot Dogs, Frankfurters and Weiners were still in plentiful supply.
Right around 3 o'clock, the Last Hamburger Patty was served, and the Rains started up in earnest.
The descision was made to wrap up the FurBQ Early for the first time in FurBQs history. The call was made just as we noticed the Pavement was now completely wet. Furs started to help in cleaning up the tables and gathering up trash and their belongings. It caught us completely by surprised that this effort had happened almost automatically without any requests. Many consolidated their activities underneath the park trees or canopies. Compared to the rest of the Park, the FurBQ was still quite well attended: Jokes about the Rain abound, and people gave their shelter (Umbrellas or Canopies or Trees) to those whom were still in fursuit.
By about 4:30 there were about 3 big groups of furrs left under the canopies and in their tents, chatting away and hanging out, many of the furrs having gone on to make separate Dinner plans. By 5, most of the groups who had brought the Canopies had left, and those of us whom remained (Chythar, Zrath, Sahara, Hoof and Moka) made one last pass making sure that everything was cleaned up, and left the park.
There were 4 unclaimed Lost & Found things left in the park: 2 balls (one blue stripey ball, the other a Soccer ball), a Blue Backpack (which we already have placed/been contacted about), and a small Pewter Pendant (you may claim it by describing it to us).
While not an Overwhelming success like in previous years, it was still quite highly attended and everyone had fun Despite the rain. Timewise, it was only cut short by about 3 hours: Instead of ending at 6 as it normally does and having furrs lingering until 8, This year it ended at 3 and furrs lingered until 5.
For future FurBQ Planning, we will be Staying away from Any April Dates, as the phrase "April Showers Brings May Flowers" is Still Very relevant to our area. This concern was brought up during the initial polling of the FurBQ dates that was held at the end of February, but we decided to allow the voting public to decide the date as we had traditionally done in the past, except this time with two April dates as suggested by several furrs. We cast the poll, the voters made their descisions, we had our reservations, we figured "Why not give it a try". Try we did, lesson learned.
There have been a couple of folks asking for a Redo of the FurBQ: Given that the FurBQ Ran for 9 of its traditional 12 hours, there will be no Mulligan. One must understand that, unlike a Baseball Game which is funded by large Megacorporations which have Insurances against such rainouts, Our FurBQ Is a Community-Run Potluck event, meaning that there is no one "Sugar Daddy" funding the event: Asking for a Raincheck is basically Asking Everyone to buy the meats and take the weekend off All Over Again; something that most of us working-class citizens can ill-afford to do in such a short timeframe. For those interested in the Finances: there are 4 of us whom "Seed" the FurBQ every year, and that amounts to about $200 per person, meaning that to Start the FurBQ Again we would need to have Another $800, Meats being the Most expensive item on that list, followed by Charcoal.
Also against a Mulligan in the Summer is the Weather: Here in Southern California, asking for a FurBQ to be done during the summer is akin to throwing all the puppies in an Oven. Summer is Hot. We're in a Drought. The Park is FULL of other people also trying to escape the heat, and thus the Idea of a Summer FurBQ is a Big No.
Instead, be sure to look for a Fall event, which is indeed being Organized To happen this autumn at the same place. Date and Time will be set sometime in the future.
Should anyone feel the need to Want to do their own "Redo" and run their own event independent of SoCalFurs, by all means do: please feel free to organize the event, set a date, and the SoCalFurs Network will be happy to announce it for you.
Many thanks to all those who attended this year from all across the region! We would like to Especially thank all those whom contributed to the event and volunteered their time and/or monies to the event! Thanks to Rivercoon for his wonderful Mozzerella-filled Pizza Burgers, and to Raz for all the Fried Chicken!
- Stego, SoCalFurs Staffmember & Seeder of SoCalFurs Spring FurBQ