They came from near and far — filling the seats of CHS Field in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Some wore pointy ears, others came in full furry attire, but all arrived with a love and dedication to a diverse mix of frisky, fun and lovable felines featured in this year’s Internet Cat Video Festival.
Now celebrating its fourth year, the festival drew around 13,000 attendees Wednesday, reports the Star Tribune.
Feline video fans spread picnic blankets in the infield, children patiently waited to have “cat faces” painted and giant mascots were in full force. Even those without tickets reportedly tried to catch the show by peering through the ballpark fence.
“This brings the crazy people all together,” festival goer Linda Bachman, who sported foam bread slices around her face, told the newspaper with a laugh.
The annual event began four years ago, when Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center reportedly set up a screen on its lawn and gave fans in the area “the cat video festival it never knew it wanted.” The festival quickly grew and had to be moved to a larger venue.
“The Internet and cat videos by extension became this sort of de facto, virtual cat park,” Will Braden, creator of the “Henri, Le Chat Noir” video series and co-producer of the cat video festival, told the Tribune. “I think that’s why people enjoy it so much. They get to watch these videos and be with people and say, ‘Oh my God, I thought my cat was the only one that did that!’ ”
The festival’s 2015 Golden Kitty statue went to “Cat Behavior Finally Explained,” by Alana Grelyak and Michael Gabriele, of Chicago. The roughly 1-minute tutorial is part of the Cat CATastrophes series and aims to explain why cats do the strange things they do.
Check out this year’s other nominees:
Pavlov’s Kitty (which we wrote about here)
Brain Freeze (which we also wrote about)