D.C. takes over annual High Heel Race on the eve of Halloween


Drag queens in pumps, platforms and stilettos will race down a Dupont Circle street later this month as they have for the past 32 years with one marked change — the District’s annual High Heel Race has been taken over by the mayor’s office.

Since 1986, the Halloween event has been beloved for its camp and community charm. It was not immediately clear what changes the city might implement, but longtime organizer Dave Perruzza — the former manager of JR’s Bar & Grill, the starting point of the race, who now owns Pitchers, a gay bar in Adams Morgan — will be working the event one last time in an effort to ensure a smooth transition.

The event, a 0.1-mile sprint between JR’s and Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse on 17th Street NW, attracts drag queens and kings decked out in glitter and costumes and, of course, heels that do not appear to be made for running.

But run they do.

The event began as a drunken contest between friends, running from the bar to the steakhouse on Halloween night. Over time, it evolved and grew. Though, for much of its existence, it was informal and kitschy — and that was the point.

Over the past two decades, the event has become more formalized with permits and police and a designated route. It was moved from Halloween night to the Tuesday before to mitigate congestion.

Last year, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser attended the race and posed for photos with spectators and participating queens. D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Police Chief Peter Newsham were also in attendance.

“What a perfect night to highlight our #DCValues,” Bowser wrote in a tweet.

What a perfect night to highlight our #DCValues in such a fun way. #HighHeelRace pic.twitter.com/hL0b3dnHz9

— MurielBowser (@MurielBowser) October 25, 2017
Chief Newsham spend part of his evening at the High Heel Race with Mayor Bowser, Chairman Mendelson, Officers, participants, and spectators! pic.twitter.com/GiAYjstLYw

— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) October 25, 2017
Some members of the District’s LGBTQ community were less than thrilled about the event’s change in leadership.

An event landing page on Facebook created by the city appeared to imply that tickets were required to attend — but officials clarified that the event would remain free and open to the public, no tickets required.

The tickets, which are free and available online, will be used to aid in a head count, officials said, and can be used to get into a pre-race happy hour at a nearby gay bar, Cobalt.
Some members of the District’s LGBTQ community were less than thrilled about the event’s change in leadership.

An event landing page on Facebook created by the city appeared to imply that tickets were required to attend — but officials clarified that the event would remain free and open to the public, no tickets required.

The tickets, which are free and available online, will be used to aid in a head count, officials said, and can be used to get into a pre-race happy hour at a nearby gay bar, Cobalt.
Source:https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-takes-over-annual-high-heel-race-on-the-eve-of-halloween/2018/10/09/04758ae8-cbf8-11e8-a3e6-44daa3d35ede_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d191b8d69626

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