A furry resurgence is bubbling up in West Michigan with the Great Lakes Furs.

by Patch O'Furr

Con gone? Tears were shed when Michigan’s Great Lakes Fur Con washed up in 2017. But now, @OrangeYouGlad brings good news of a new group, (Telegram: @GreatLakesFurs), lifting a wet blanket off those in spitting distance. Through hell or high water, furries will keep sailing on. Dam-straight!

First let’s look at how it rained on their parade. (I guess it rained cats and dogs?) From greatlakesfurcon.com:

An Important Announcement

Posted on May 14, 2017

We have a bit of disappointing news to share with all of you. Great Lakes Fur Con will not be taking place in 2017. Recently some of our staff members stepped down due to personal obligations, and while we wish them the best (and they wish us the best as well), this means we do not have the manpower to put on the convention that you all deserve and enjoy.

That’s not too dramatic. It sounds like it just melted away. Dogpatch Press shared a little notice in What’s Yiffin’? – June 2017 edition of syndicated furry news:

Even though there was no official convention this story still has a happy ending, too; the remaining staff of GLFC elected to hold a big cookout/potluck and invited furs in the area to bring a dish and come hang out. Afterwards, everyone went bowling! Sure, it’s not a convention but that still sounds like a hell of a way to spend a day.

Now they’re floating some new plans. @OrangeYouGlad joins me to talk about it.

(Dogpatch:) How did things blow up for your group? And how did losing a con contribute to breaking up the community for a while?

Great Lakes Fur group really blew up after Motor City Fur Con. We had our first actual Michigan meetup at the event and it went really well. Almost 100 new members joined after that con and with the spread of learning there was a public chat available for furries in Michigan. We are now at 350 members across Michigan, making us the largest furry group in the state.

But Great Lakes had a humble beginning. In 2016 I was talking to one of the only other local furs at my university on how there was no local scene for furries outside of Detroit. We heard there was a few furs over there through a friend, but a 2.5h drive both ways made it unaccessible. We then learned of a now local defunct con, Great Lakes Fur Con, and we were hoping to attend, but the convention failed leaving the pre-registered attendees in limbo. To this day they never got refunded. Since the con chairmen also held and helped with local events, all things fell out with them and the community vanished.

Who brought a new group together and how?

I was a little upset that nothing was happening in the best city in Michigan, so a chat was created, Great Lakes Furs. The name is similar but that’s because it’s honestly such a great name; no connection to the old con. We started small with 25 members after meeting some good furs at the IndyFurCon and after a couple of events, good public interactions with the city, and just a simple friendly atmosphere, Great Lakes Fur group is now encompassing all of Michigan.

What kind of plans are there are for it, and how can furs get involved?

The future plans for the Great Lakes Furs in the future outside of our volunteering and local events are to set up more Kerfluffle-like events across the state. We are also finishing up our Not-for-profit application to host a convention in West Michigan again. Michigan is simply a wonderful state and there’s so much to see and do.

  • To get involved, it’s as simple as joining the chat on Telegram: @GreatLakesFurs
  • All of our events and involvement opportunities will be posted there, and our events channel: @GLF_Events
  • We’re also working on our new logo with a contest. There’s a $50 prize and a shirt, and it’s open until June 10th (see pinned post in the chat.)