Boo at The Zoo 2019 took place on Oct 19, 2019 at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL USA under normal circumstances this is the largest gathering of fursuiters pre MFF. Normally this would not be worth mentioning, but the story behind this meet I hope you find it interesting.
The following is based upon what I could gather from various sources on social media.
Boo at The Zoo was originally scheduled to take place at Noon at the Merry Go Round at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL USA on Oct 19. Then 2 weeks before the event the Brookfield Zoo suddenly announced that no costumes would be allowed if they covered the face of anyone older than the age of 12.
This leads the organizer of the event one Carolyn R. Contarsy scrambling to find another location. The obvious choice was the only other major zoo in the area the Lincoln Park Zoo, but they had to call to see if it was okay. But there was a major hiccup and up until yesterday there was some wondering would this event take place. It seems the City of Chicago has this old law that bans anyone from wearing a full costume on city property.
Then there was what Ms. Contarsy saw as troublemakers, which as it turns out was mainly due to rumors and caused threats to be made. This actually caused some to stay away from this meet, including yours truly.
Then there was this issue of parking, just look up the Lincoln Park Zoo in Google Maps and you see parking is extremely limited. Even though the instructions were clear there was massive confusion by some. Who frankly never made it, we will never know the exact number.
UPDATE: After checking both 2018 vs. 2019 photos the numbers this year were down by more than 10.
Important Update: Before I departed the Chicago Furry Fandom group on Telegram they decided that next year’s Boo at the Zoo is now a PRIVATE EVENT. Meaning that they will Pick and Choose who is allowed to take part or asked to leave.
Due to COVID-19 Boo at The Zoo was cancelled for 2020 and for the record I have renewed my membership at both local zoos.