Annual High Heel Race on 17th is Tuesday, Oct. 28

by October 25, 2008 at 3:47 pm 1,763 0

17th Street NW at the 2008 High Heel Race. (Photo by Luis Gomez, One Photograph A Day.)

17th Street NW: 2007 High Heel Race. (Photo by Luis Gomez, One Photograph A Day.)

The annual Halloween High Heel Race, the original creation of JR’s Bar and Grill, is next Tuesday, October 28. I have lived in DC for almost 16 years and remember when this was mostly a neighborhood event. Not so anymore.

In fact, my partner and I sometimes don’t go because the crowds are simply too big and it is almost impossible to navigate your way through the thousands of revelers on 17th Street NW between Church and R, let alone see the costumes or the actual race. (Or perhaps I have just become a middle-aged old poop.) Still, it’s a good time and we are hoping for nice weather for next Tuesday evening.

You KNOW that what was formerly an event for the neighborhood and DC’s gay community has gone truly mainstream when the Washington Post lists the event in its City Guide of things-to-do. If you need more proof, this year’s sponsor is the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets Program, the beneficiary of this year’s proceeds, according to the Washington City Paper.

If the weather is bad on Tuesday evening and you don’t feel like fighting the crowds, here are some video clips from previous years on YouTube–here and here.

Here’s the Post listing for 2008:

Traditionally held on the Tuesday before Halloween, this annual neighborhood event features elaborately costumed drag queens racing down 17th Street (from Q to Church streets) and attracts a large crowd eager to cheer them on.

The race begins at 9, but the real fun takes place before the main event, as the contestants parade up and down the race course showing off their outfits.

To get a street-side seat at an on-course cafe like JR’s or the Fox & Hounds, stake out your spot by 6. (There’s plenty of space along the sidewalk, though crowds often block the view.) The informal block party continues long after the last Mary Jane (size 13 EE) crosses the finish line.


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