by Tim Regan October 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

High Heel Race 2015, photo by Luis GomezScores of people are expected to line up along a portion of 17th Street NW tomorrow night to watch runners in high heels and larger-than-life costumes sprint down the block.

The 30th annual 17th Street High Heel Race festivities kick off at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, according to organizers.

Last year’s event drew thousands of people and dozens of runners dressed up as Michael Jackson, Queen Elizabeth, Dolly Parton and zombified drag queens.

Ba’Naka and Birdie LaCage will both serve as grand marshal for this year’s race, just as they did last year. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will also attend the event.

The race will begin at 17th and R streets NW at 9 p.m. During the contest, runners in high heels walk, sprint and stumble toward the finish line at 17th and P streets NW. Crowds usually line up along 17th Street between R and P Street NW hours before the race, so attendees who want to get good photos or see the race up-close should arrive early.

The following streets will be closed between 6:30 and 11 p.m. Tuesday:

  • 17th Street NW between Riggs Place NW to P Street NW
  • Riggs Place, R Street, Corcoran Street, Q Street, and Church Street NW between 16th Street NW and 18th Street NW

Those interested in running in the race can register at Cobalt (1639 R Street NW) any time before it starts. To work as a volunteer during the event, fill out this online form.

The first High Heel Race was organized in 1986 by JR’s Bar and Grill. Since then, it has become one of Dupont Circle’s most popular yearly events and draws thousands of people annually.

2015 photo by Luis Gomez Photography

by Tim Regan October 26, 2015 at 12:15 pm 0

High heel race 2012

Racers in high heels and colorful costumes will once again sprint through Dupont Circle during this year’s 29th annual 17th Street High Heel Race tomorrow evening.

Here’s what you need to know if you plan to go:

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Banaka and Birdie LaCage will marshall this year’s race. The festivities start with a parade at 7 p.m., followed by the race itself at 9 p.m. Crowds line up along 17th Street between R and P Street NW hours before the race, so attendees who want to snap quality photos or see the race up close should plan ahead and be prepared to wait in possibly cold, rainy weather.

Chairs, dogs “or anything drag queens can trip over” will not be allowed along the race route, said event organizers. Additionally, attendees are not allowed to climb on newspaper boxes, homes, trees or light posts for a better view.

The race will begin at 17th and R streets NW at 9 p.m. Racers will sprint south toward the finish line at 17th and P streets NW.

Those interested in running in the race can register at Cobalt (1639 R Street NW) any time before the race tomorrow. To work as a volunteer during the race, visit JR’s Bar and Grill (1519 17th Street NW) at 6:30 p.m. to pick up T-shirts and instructions. Volunteers must be 21 or older.

The first High Heel Race was organized in 1986 by JR’s Bar and Grill. Since then, it has become one of Dupont Circle’s most popular yearly events and draws thousands of people annually.

by Borderstan.com October 30, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,588 0

"High Heel"

Not even Hurricane Sandy could stop the High Heel Race, only postpone it. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

Check out photos from 2011 festivities and High Heel Race on 17th Street.

In case you haven’t heard, due to Hurricane Sandy the 17th Street High Heel Race has been postponed to Thursday November 1. Thursday night will be the night that the neighborhood waits for every year… it’s the 26th Annual High Heel Race. The festive and highly competitive event will take start on 17th Street NW between P and R Streets at 9 pm sharp. Pre-race festivities (the parade of costumes leading up to the race — check out last year’s photos) begin around 6 pm.

Last year’s event boasted of more than 60,000 people, and not even a hurricane will stop DC’s die-hard divas and fans from racing and cheering this year. Remember ladies and gentlemen: Your heels must be at least 2 inches high or you will be ineligible to win. Registration will be in front of Cobalt (1639 R Street NW) starting at 6 pm.

The one thing that remains in schedule is the Cool-off  party at Cobalt for the official High Heel Race After Party turned into Pre-High Heel Race Party on Tuesday night. DJs Jason Royce and Madscience will provide the entertainment upstairs and in 30 Degrees. So get ready for the race and partying on Thursday night.

We hope to see you all OUT on Thursday!

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by Borderstan.com October 25, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,375 1 Comment

"High Heel"

Tuesday, October 30: Get ready for the 2012 High Heel Race on 17th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Check out photos from 2011 festivities and High Heel Race on 17th Street.

Ladies, it’s time to put your heels on! The 26th Annual High Heel Race will take place on Tuesday, October 30 on 17th Street NW, between P and R Streets.

Last year, Borderstan neighbor, Stephen, came in a close second to winner, Craig Williams. But who will clench the title this year? It’s time to find out. Pre-race spectator fun (the parade of costumes leading up to the race – check out last year’s photos) starts as early as 6 pm; the race starts at 9 pm sharp.

The first event, held in 1986, drew a respectable crowd, which has grown steadily over the years. Recent races and pre-race festivities attracted tens of thousands of Washingtonians to 17th Street for the High Heel Race; last year’s event boasted of more than 60,000 people.

The event is sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program and JR’s Bar and Grill, the creator of DC’s traditional High Heel Race.

Here are some race details: As for those heels, they must be at least two-inches high or you will be ineligible to win. Registration will be in front of COBALT, 1639 R Street NW, starting at 6 pm.

For more information, visit the event’s website.

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by Borderstan.com October 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm 1,582 0

"Borderstan""High Heel Race 2011""17th Street NW"

Click for the photos! 17th Stree4t High Heel Race 2011. (Luis Gomez Photos).

Check out the photos from the 2011 17th Street High Heel Race on Flickr!

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

For the 26th year in a row, the High Heel Race 2011 filled 17th Street NW. Wonderful costumes, a large and happy crowd and a gaggle of contestants (wearing 2-inch heels, at a minimum). Prior to the race at 9 pm, participants paraded their wigs, heels and creative costumes along 17th along with many other revelers in Halloween garb.

This year’s winner, Craig Williams, won for the second time, also winning in 2008. Runner-up Stephen was the 3rd Place finisher last year. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans was the official judge at the finish line and trophy presenter. The trophy this year was a hand-blown glass slipper full of brandy.

The first event in 1986 drew a neighborhood crowd and the event has grown steadily over years, drawing people from all over DC and the metro area. Recent races and pre-race festivities have brought tens of thousands of Washingtonians to 17th Street for the High Heel Race — last year’s crowd was estimated at 60,000 (this year’s crowd as definitely in the tens of thousands.) A new touch this year was The Washington Blade Food Truck Rally with 10 food trucks at 17th and O Streets NW.

The event is sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program and JR’s Bar and Grill. JR’s was the creator of the annual event the year it opened in 1986. And for only $20. you can buy an official High Heel Race T-shirt!

by Borderstan.com October 26, 2011 at 8:00 am 0

17th Street High Heel Race, Luis Gomez Photos

The 26th annual High Heel Race, from left: 2011 Champion Craig Williams, Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), and Runner-up Stephen. The winner’s trophy is a slipper full of brandy. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster or email her at [email protected].

Drag Queens, High Heels and Running for 25 Years

Update: Heels, Wigs, Costumes on 17th Street: We Got Pics!

Send in your gosh darned pictures from last night, already! Share them on the Borderstan Flickr pool.  Borderstan’s beloved Halloween tradition of drag queens, wanna-be-queens and a few competitive runners was held last night on 17th Street: The High Heel Race. This year’s winner, Craig Williams, won for the second time, also winning in 2008. Runner-up Stephen was the 3rd Place finisher last year. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans was the official judge at the finish line and trophy presenter. The trophy this year was a hand-blown glass slipper full of brandy.

WTOP gave a quick preview of the event, including some good nuggets of history like the date of the first run (1986), its origins (a bet, no surprise there) and some early expectations for crowds. If you have lived in DC for more than a Halloween, have a sense of humor and enjoy some serious pageantry, you pretty much have to go next year.

Red Line to be a CF This Weekend

If you are planning to support friends at the Marine Core Marathon, go out around Dupont or do anything else on our part of the Red Line, just don’t bother. The Metro’s track maintenance schedule will cause single-tracking between Dupont Circle and Judiciary Square to create a safe work zone at Farragut North, says The Washington Post. That station definitely needs some work, and I guess it’s not rush hour but man, what a bummer. Trains will leave the end of the line every 20 minutes or so, and will go through the work zone (one train in each direction) every 20 minutes.

Saving the Other Theatre in the Area

Greater Greater Washington shares the story of the Ontario Theatre at 17th Street and Columbia Road NW. It’s been abandoned, neglected and may ultimately disappear in what historians (or GGW) feel is a blow to history. Sound familar? It should — seems similar to the plight of the Lincoln Theatre. The difference, of course, is that the Lincoln is currently functioning as a theater.

The Ontario, once a neighborhood theater showing first-run movies, one of only two in DC. It was ravaged by the riots after Dr. King’s death, became a Latino community meeting place and then became home to performances by The Clash and Blondie. A building that is more than 60-years-old, which embodies the changing history of the neighborhood and is also a pretty sweet architectural structure? That sounds like historical preservation status-worthy to me.

by Borderstan.com October 24, 2011 at 11:30 am 0

"Borderstan" "High Heel Race" "17th Street NW"

Tuesday, October 25: Get ready for the 2011 High Heel Race on 17th Street NW. An added benefit to the festivities this year is food trucks at 17th and O Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Check out photos from 2010 festivities and High Heel Race on 17th Street.

It’s race time! The run for the roses! Each year on the Tuesday prior to Halloween is the 17th Street High Heel Race with this year being the 26th running. The blocks of 17th Street NW between P and S Streets will be closed off at 6 pm with the race starting at 9 pm sharp. Of course, the real fun is the parade of costumes leading up to the race (check out last year’s photos).

New this year at the High Heel Race: The Washington Blade Food Truck Rally with 10 food trucks at 17th and O Streets NW. And for only 20 dineros US you can buy an official High Heel Race T-shirt!

The first event in 1986 drew a respectable crowd and has grown steadily over years. Recent races and pre-race festivities have brought tens of thousands of Washingtonians to 17th Street for the High Heel Race — last year’s crowd was estimated at 60,000. The event is sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program and JR’s Bar and Grill. JR’s was the creator of the annual event the year it opened in 1986.

Race Details. As for those heels, they must be at least 2 inches high or you will be ineligible to win. Registration will be in front of COBALT, 1639 R Street NW, starting at 6 pm.

VIP Passes. You can purchase a $40 VIP pass for the tented area at Church Street where the race ends. Proceeds help cover the cost of the event with the remainder of the funds going to HDCMS.

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2010 at 10:17 am 1,350 3 Comments

Tuesday evening on 17th St. NW: Mayor Adrian Fenty gets a lift at the Annual High Heel Race. (Luis Gomez Photos)

17th Street High Heel Race Luis Gomez Photos

Click on the image to see photos from Tuesday night’s 17th Street High Heel Race 2010, including pre-race parade pics. (Luis Gomez Photos).

Check out Luis’ photos from Tuesday night of the pre-race parade of costumes on 17th Street.

TBD.com has video, with report from Amanda Hess: “Are Drag Queens Feminists?”

Be sure to take this week’s Reader Poll on the landing page: “For guys only: Ever dressed in drag?”

It was the 25th running of the annual 17th Street High Heel Race, with volunteers, parade marshals, police and tens of thousands of revelers. JR’s Bar and Grille started the event in 1986 right after it opened at 17th and Church St. NW. What started out 24 years ago as a small neighborhood event has turned into one of the most popular Halloween-week events in the DC Metro area.

One estimate put last night’s crowd on 17th Street between P and Riggs at 60,000 people.

Moreover, the High Heel Race is officially a “First Amendment event,” according to an article in yesterday’s Examiner. Rightly so, but it’s also an awfully lot of fun.

The 2010 event was sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program and JR’s Bar and Grill. The High Heel Race is always held the Tuesday before Halloween (unless it falls on the 31st, of course). While the race takes place at 9 pm, the two-or-so hours leading up to the race are the best part of the evening. Police block of 17th Street from S down to P and the parade of costumes — runners and non-runners alike — is the best amusement in town.

by Borderstan.com October 26, 2010 at 9:36 am 1,066 1 Comment

17th Street High Heel Race Luis Gomez Photos

Runners dash for the Church Street finish line at the 2009 High Heel Race on 17th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos).

Duplex Diner patrons will have the luxury of sitting down and sipping a cocktail while watching the Tuesday-night festivities on 17th Street NW — from the peace and quiet of the restaurant at 18th and Florida NW.

Diner owner Eric Hirshfield is offering a live video feed of the annual High Heel Race, including the pre-race fun, starting at 8:30 pm. Look for videographer Josh Siegel on 17th Street — he’ll be wearing the “Broadcasting Live to Duplex Diner T-Shirt.” Race time is at 9 pm.

17th Street High Heel Race Luis Gomez Photos

17th Street NW during the 2008 High Heel Race parade. (Luis Gomez Photos)

VIP Passes Help Cover Costs

Another option is the VIP tented standing area for 50 ticket holders at the Church Street finish line. Get more details and tickets at Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) website. HDCMS is a sponsor of the event, sharing costs and providing a clean up crew after the event. Your $40 ticket cost helps defray the cost associated with the High Heel Race.

Race Details

The event is sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program and JR’s Bar and Grill. You can purchase a VIP pass for the tented area at Church Street; proceeds benefi HDCMS — see details below. JR’s is the creator of the annual event, with the first race in 1986 — the year JR’s opened.

The Annual High Heel Race is always held the Tuesday before Halloween (unless it falls on the 31st, of course). While the race takes place at 9 pm, the two-or-so hours leading up to the race are the best part of the evening. Police block of 17th Street from S down to P and the parade of costumes — runners and non-runners alike — is the best amusement in town.

The race — which does begins on time — is a short sprint from S down to Church, about 1/5 of a mile. So, don’t’ be late or you’ll miss it.

by Borderstan.com October 23, 2010 at 10:52 am 0

17th Street High Heel Race Luis Gomez Photos

The 2009 High Heel Race on 17th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The only thing really wrong with this Tuesday’s annual 17th Street High Heel Race and accompanying festivities is that they won’t happen for another year. How about quarterly? Contestants would have the opportunity to show a full range of seasonal frocks, finery and high heels — and it would be good for local businesses.

This annual event has become one of D.C.’s must-attend Halloween events during the past decade with crowds hitting 17th Street hours before the race to get good viewing spots on the sidewalk and at outdoor cafes. The first High Heel Race was organized in 1986 by JR’s Bar & Grill and the event has grown tremendously in the past decade. Adding to the fun are the people who show up every year in a new costume or persona: Behind the High-Heeled Glamour: A Quick Chat with “Anna Wintour.”

Photos: Borderstan will have photos from the 2010 High Heel Race on Wednesday morning, Oct. 27.

Details

The 25th Annual High Heel Race is Tuesday, Oct. 26, with the “parade” of costumes — runners and non-runners alike — starting at 7 pm. The race is at 9 pm. A stretch of 17th between P and S Streets NW will be closed to traffic for several hours. The event is sponsored by the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets program and JR’s Bar and Grill.

A heads up for newcomers: If you are newcomer to the neighborhood and haven’t attended a race before… and are thinking of bringing small children and dogs… please know that the sidewalks get very congested for this event.

Marshals and Volunteers

This year’s race is again from north to south, starting at Cobalt (17th and R) and finish at JR’s (Church Street). Grand Marshals are Mayor Adrian Fenty and Lena Lett. If you want to be a race marshal, send an email to [email protected] — you will get a free T-shirt and a good view of the race.

Rules for Runners

If you would like to run in the event please register at Cobalt before the race; you will need to sign a waiver. And remember: You must wear heels to run: No flats! The course is 0.2 miles — 1/5 of a mile–in case you are thinking of donning a pair of heels and finding out just how fast you can run.

VIP Passes Help Cover Costs

A VIP tented standing area is being reserved for 50 ticket holders at the Church Street finish line. Get more details and tickets at Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) website. HDCMS is a sponsor of the event, sharing costs and providing a clean up crew after the event. Your $40 ticket cost helps defray the cost associated with the High Heel Race.

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2009 at 11:28 pm 1,081 0

IMG_1555

Two of the many costumed Washingtonians who turned out in drag for the 2009 17th Street High Heel Race. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Is it the event of the year on the Dupont Circle side of Borderstan?

At his blog, One Photograph A Day… Luis got some great pics of the revelers in their Halloween costumes at tonight’s 17th Street High Heel Race and created a slide show. He also provides some background on the history of the race.

Related Postings

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm 1,303 0

MadamX3

Before the 17th Street High Heel Race: Madame X as “Anna Wintour” on 15th Street NW. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

The annual 17th Street High Heel Race is all about the participants, the costumes, the characters. The race, while amusing, is a sideshow. The real fun is in meeting the people who show up every year in costume to one of Dupont Circle’s biggest events.

Following is an interview, “A Quick Chat with ‘Anna Wintour,’ ” that profiles one of the Washingtonians who has made the annual Race a big Halloween event, drawing thousands of spectators.

I have known “Anna Wintour,” who I shall identify as “Madame X“–but well known in his real identify to friends and fans–for 10-plus years. Each year I await his Halloween costume to see what persona he will take. This year Madame X is attending tonight’s High Heel Race as Anna Wintour, the longtime editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine–and subject of many articles herself and even a movie or two.

We caught up with “Anna” a couple of hours before the race as she was waiting patiently for the rain to stop. A former resident of Borderstan (The Cairo, early 1990s), “Anna” recounts her favorite characters over the years for the Race and recalls the time she drove from DC to Rehoboth in full drag in her Ford Taurus. (more…)

by Borderstan.com October 27, 2009 at 4:00 am 1,187 0

highheelrace

17th Street NW during the 2008 High Heel Race event. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

Rain or shine. Today is the annual  17th Street Halloween High Heel Race. Starting time is 9:00 p.m, but get there early if you want to enjoy the show. Prior to  the race, many of the participants (and those just in costume) parade along 17th Street.

What: High Heel Race

Where: 17th Street NW between Church & R Streets NW

Time: 9:00 p.m., but be there early!

by Borderstan.com October 20, 2009 at 7:28 am 2,097 1 Comment

17th Street NW during the 2008 High Heel Race event. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

17th Street NW during the 2008 High Heel Race event. (Photo: Luis Gomez Photos)

How time flies. The annual 17th Street Halloween High Heel Race is only week away: Tuesday, October 27. Starting time is 9 p.m., but 17th Street north of P Street will begin filling up between 6 and 7 p.m.

In what appears to be an historic change (yes, I’ve attended a few), the race course is reversed this year, with the contestants running south. The race will start at R Street and end at Church Street in front of JR’s Bar & Grill. The course is 0.2 miles–1/5 of a mile–in case you are thinking of donning a pair of heels and finding out just how fast you can run.

The Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program is the designated beneficiary this year. According to HDCMS Executive Director Paul Williams, the group has created a roped off VIP area at the finish line at Church Street “for those that wish to arrive as late as 30 minutes before the event for a secured, prime viewing area! Ticket holders will also receive a Bar Fast Pass to head directly in front of any lines at JR’s, Cobalt, and 30 Degrees following the event.”

The VIP section is limited to 50 ticket holders at $40 per person, and there are apparently some tickets left. Williams estimates a crowd of more than 15,000–an estimate I find entirely believable.

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