STATE FAIR: Internet Cat Video Festival draws 10,000 - New York News

STATE FAIR: Internet Cat Video Festival draws 10,000

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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) -

Cat lovers from around the world turned out in the thousands to pack the Grandstand at the great Minnesota get together on Wednesday night to view the best viral cat videos the Internet has to offer.

Whether it's a cow chewing cud or a pig lazing in a pen, everyone has a favorite four-legged animal to visit at the Minnesota State Fair, but the newest animal attraction truly is the cat's meow.

There are countless videos of cats online -- grumpy ones, happy ones and everything in between, but the best of the best were on display at the 2nd annual Internet Cat Video Festival.

"Dog owners have places where they can walk their dog. Cat owners are at home. So, in some ways, the Internet is a cat park and we are having the time when we can have the cat park public for a while," Scott Stulen, festival organizer, told FOX 9 News.

Some of the videos have been viewed a staggering number of times. For example, Will Braden's series about a French cat named Henri who is suffering from an existential crisis has been watched more than 8 million times.

After Braden took the festival's top prize -- the Golden Kitty -- last year, he now sells Henri merchandise from his own online store full time.

"You know, [Henri] really does like the attention. He doesn't know about the online attention, but he knows when I come over with lights and a camera and am ready to shoot something," Braden told FOX 9 News. "He gets excited."

While so-called "celebricats" like Lil Bub had tongues wagging, others stuck with their funny frowns -- and some fans with cats on the brain wore their adoration on their faces using some creative paint.

"I'm actually a dog person, but I love Grumpy Cat so much," Bonnie Eenigenburg admitted. "It crosses a line for me."

An estimated 10,000 attendees crossed that line to spend an evening watching and appreciating the finest feline performances, marking the largest event at the Grandstand so far. In fact, there was so much interest, Animal Planet streamed it live online.

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