by October 26, 2010 at 9:36 am 1,878 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 October 25, 2008 at 3:47 pm 1,886 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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