16 April 2022
KEY WEST, Fla. -- Drag racers in high-heeled shoes instead of high-speed cars took to the street in Key West Saturday in a challenge dubbed the Conch (pronounced KONK) Republic Drag Race.

The playful parody of auto racing featured female impersonators -- sometimes called drag queens -- strutting their stuff complete with pancake makeup, wigs and compulsory high-heeled footwear. One pink-haired lovely even sported bunny ears, black shades and a full beard.

Contestants raced on foot down a portion of Key West’s famed Duval Street, navigating an obstacle course of tires and competing in a heat with shopping-cart “hot rods,” while spectators cheered for their favorites.

Entrants were judged on their speed as they attempted to sprint along the course. Some were slowed by mishaps including dramatic falls, lost heels and upsets caused by “road hazards.”

The wacky drag challenge was part of Key West's 40th annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration. It commemorates the Florida Keys' symbolic 1982 secession from the United States and formation of the independent republic after the U.S. Border Patrol established a roadblock at the top of the Keys Overseas Highway ostensibly to inspect departing vehicles for illegal drugs and other contraband.

The 2022 celebration runs through Sunday, April 24, with other events including a lighthearted sea battle featuring tall ships, a race of decorated beds and a parade billed as “the world’s longest.”

Story: High-Heeled ‘Drag Racers’ Hit the Road in Key West
Locator Super: Key West, Fla.
Video: Video to match this story is available on the Florida Keys News Bureau's FTP server (download details below) or can be downloaded via Google Drive link
B-roll of female impersonators competing in "drag race."
TRT:  02:30
Filename: KeyWestDragRacers.mp4
Video Source: Florida Keys News Bureau
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