Kansas City has taken an economic hit as groups such as La Raza have withdrawn their conventions over a spat with Mayor Mark Funkhouser. It's a shame to waste our revitalized downtown, so the Department of Burnt Ends has compiled this list of lesser-known groups and conventions that could call Kansas City home.
Web site: Anthrocon.org
The world's largest gathering of anthropomorphs — those who dig seeing adults dressed as animals — drew nearly 3,000 plush-costumed conventioneers to Pittsburgh in 2007.
Pros: Boon to local fabric stores and arts and crafts stores, as honey- and bourbon-fueled teddy bear orgies and limited peripheral vision result in any number of rips and tears.
Cons: Police reports for stolen picnic baskets skyrocket.
Web site: Ferret.org
Nope, this isn't about who has the cutest weasel. This serious-sounding conference delves into ferret-protection programs and education for ferret vets.
Pros: A healthy musk of ferret oils covering the normal smell of downtown Kansas City for one weekend.
Cons: A healthy musk of ferret oils covering the normal smell of downtown Kansas City for one weekend.
Web site: CompetitiveEaters.com
The Web site of this conference bills it as a way to "establish the use of Competitive Eaters as a viable marketing tool and to increase public awareness and acceptance [of the] sport."
Pros: Finally, athletes to call the Sprint Center home.
Web site: AANR.com
The group boasts nearly 50,000 members in North America.
Pros: We like bowling. We like it better without our pants.
Cons: Absolutely none.
Web site: Hobo.com
Currently meeting annually in Britt, Iowa, the foundation develops bylaws for hobo life.
Pros: Entertaining stories about the vanishing railroads.
Cons: Every trash can in the city will be set ablaze.
Web site: StopClownPornNow.org
This fledgling group has yet to find a city to support its convention.
Pros: Getting in on the ground floor of the movement, Kansas City will greatly improve its national image for tolerance.
Cons: Local specialty stripper "Handsome Lulu" might lose already sparse bachelor-party bookings.
Web site: PatrickSwayze.net
Need we say more?
Pros: If recent health reports regarding the Road House star are true, this could become an annual mecca for Swayze fans.
Cons: Continuous playing of Swayze's hit song, "She's Like the Wind."
Web site: IAGSDC.org
There are nearly 60 clubs nationwide, including the Sho-Me Squares here in KC.
Pros: An opportunity to reject gender stereotypes and celebrate the human spirit.
Cons: Kansas City's precious flannel stockpile ruined by hot glue, glitter and Bedazzlers.
Web site: AmericanSniper.org
The Association provides, its Web site describes, a collective voice for the sniper community.
Pros: Steep drop in street crime as fear of sudden retribution, as if by the hand of God, lingers in everyones mind.
Cons: We become dependent on cheap law enforcement from men named Merle who have problematic histories involving corn liquor.