15:07 PM

High-Heeled Divas to Vie for Victory in Zany Key West ‘Drag Race’

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Revelers are to gather in Key West for a playful parody of auto racing, with entrants swapping high-speed cars for high-heeled shoes and female drag “ah-tire” while dashing along an improvised racetrack Saturday, April 20.

The annual Conch Republic Drag Race is to take place in the 700 block of Key West’s famed Duval Street in the heart of the island’s vibrant LGBTQ entertainment district.  

Presented by the Petronia St. Neighborhood Association and under the direction of the Bourbon St. Pub staff, the zany race is to “clock in” at 2:30 p.m. with registration and a test run, followed by qualifying races and finals where the two fastest queens go head-to-head to compete for the trophy.

Traditional auto racing is to be spoofed throughout the lighthearted event, with organizers posing as “pit crew” while waving checkered flags and a local DJ improvising the roar of revving engines.

The event’s “dragsters” — sporting lavish lipstick, extravagant wigs and race-mandated high-heeled footwear — are to entertain audiences while attempting to outpace their rivals. Racers must navigate various hazards on the “track” including an obstacle course of tires and other wipeout-worthy perils as spectators cheer on their favorites.

Race registration is free for all contestants willing to don the required towering heels and female finery.

The drag challenge is part of Key West's 42nd annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration. Scheduled April 19-28, the festival commemorates the Florida Keys’ symbolic 1982 secession from the United States and formation of the independent republic.

Among festival highlights are the so-called “World’s Longest Parade” that proceeds along Duval Street from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, a lighthearted sea battle featuring tall ships and a Hot Havana Nights dance party under the stars.

Drag Race information: New Orleans House Guest House at 305-293-9800

Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or gaykeywestfl.com

Social: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTubePinterestTikTokKeys Voices Blog