The fursuit parade was set for Saturday noon, mercifully a normal hour and one we could reasonably wake up in time for. As expected they gathered in the ballroom, the Main Events room, so I saw bunny_hugger disappear into the mob of fursuiters and then tried to guess where there might be a good spot to watch. There wasn't a published parade route that I knew about, so I had to take my guesses based on where they seemed to be setting up security and places to shoo folks away from. I settled on a corner between hallways outside the ballroom and turned out to be exactly right.
The parade didn't just go past that spot; it would, somewhere down the line, turn around and back around. I thought this indicated the parade route would be prone to collapsing in chaos as people who were supposed to turn left saw, dimly, through scrim and slight openings, people moving to the right and made the reasonable assumption. I was right about this, although less right than I expected. Fewer people were confused than I expected. The parade ran about seven minutes and I guess had something like 179 suiters in it (according to Wikifur). That's almost more than the convention had total attendees in 2006.
What I didn't see was people gathered for the group photo shoot afterwards, although I followed the parade out the door to try and find them. Eventually I met back up with bunny_hugger, who explained the group photo shoot was done at the start, indoors, in the ballroom. Likely a good way to make sure everybody at the parade was in the photo, but it did spoil my chances at blurry photographs of people moving in front of bunny_hugger. She also described how they went through the dealers room and that it was some strange sort of tent. This didn't make a great deal of sense to me, but I hadn't seen the dealer's den yet, and she has utterly lousy vision while in suit.
Also while photographing the parade, I discovered the battery door to my camera had broken. The tab holding it closed went missing somewhere. I've got the battery door masking-taped shut now; it's not ideal, and it does make me wonder if I need to look into new cameras. Entropy con again.
After all this we did go to the dealers' den. It had rather more space than the Old Hotel had. Admittedly it'd be hard for a place not to. And I understood what was meant by it being in a tent. The room was, it looks like, some sort of enclosed patio, with heavy tarp walls that could be rolled down to protect against weather or, in this case, shoplifters. I assume it's for events like wedding receptions or dinners where you'd love to have people enjoy the outdoor air, but don't want to be left out in case the monsoons arrive.
Still, there was more room. And more people offering things. We didn't quite find something compelling, including not finding someone to add to bunny_hugger's sketchbook of the pair of us. (Meanwhile I go into my eighth year of going to furry conventions again without any idea what a good sketchbook theme might be.) We did get to talking with a pair(?) about the new room, and how yeah, the space was great but sales were slow. Possibly because the dealer's den was at the end of a hallway past the main ballroom, and so off the line of traffic. Possibly because it was a hot day and even with the air conditioning and fans in the tent it was warmer than just hanging out inside.
I bought one of the guy's 3D-printed badges, something like Certified Furry Trash. bunny_hugger couldn't believe that I did that. But I got it to add to the bin of candy and dollar-store trinkets for the Raccoons and Procyonids SIG. That there was a ``prize worth ten dollars'' inside would become part of my promotional spiel. I made no attempt to grab it when we did tip open the bin because it's really so not my thing.
I forget what we did for lunch. At least once we went to one of the grease trucks that was out in the parking lot --- out where the fursuit parade left the building --- as I remember our lining up for crepes and bringing them back to hospitality to eat. There were a set of grease trucks there over the weekend, and that they were was one of the things we talked about with the guy at the Greymuzzles panel. Apparently since the end of Furlaxation Con he's gotten into the grease truck business and might have made a bid to be one of the vendors this weekend had his schedule allowed. They didn't have the Korean barbecue truck we'd so enjoyed at Cedar Point the year before, but that's all right. Not everybody can have that.
Trivia: Before 1848 Chicago had an ordinance prohibiting railroad depots within the city limits. Source: The Story of American Railroads, Stewart H Holbrook.
Currently Reading: Terrytoons: The Story Of Paul Terry and his Classic Cartoon Factory, W Gerald Hamonic. I mean, I appreciate Hamonic's thesis that people are so quick to underrate the Terrytoons that they don't actually watch them, and that's unfair. And it's fair to point out that Knighty-Knight Bugs, the Bugs Bunny cartoon that did win an animation Oscar, is a pretty weak entry and probably not as good as the Terrytoons nominee that year. But it comes across as a weird ... not quite sour grapes, but something along that line. So is arguing that, like, a Disney cartoon where Pluto spends a lot of time sniffing around being all inquisitive is charming, yes, but hasn't got jokes doesn't counter the argument that Terrytoons tended to not be so funny.
PS: Reading the Comics, June 16, 2018: No Panels Edition as my strip-reviewing productivity drops off again. Argh.
PPS: And how's things hanging at Casino Pier?
bunny_hugger sitting beside Casino Pier's seated clown on the bench and throwing a sign to feed the suspicion of our pinball friend MWS that we're secretly Jugalos.
Casino Pier hasn't got souvenir maps, not so far as I can tell. But here's a photo of the pier map for anyone interested in re-creating the place in Roller Coaster Tycoon. I can give a more close-up shot of stuff if you really want to know.
Viking statue standing beside the Ferris Wheel.