High Heels, Running, and Drag Queens in DC

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WASHINGTON — Blocked streets, crowded sidewalks, and many dozens of drag queen runners set the stage fittingly for the yearly 17th Street High Heel Race, which took place on Wednesday at 9 p.m a few blocks from Dupont Circle. A yearly tradition dating back to 1986, the race brings together thousands of onlookers who watch costumed drag queens dash down 17th Street between R and P streets. Taking place on the Tuesday before Halloween each year, the event energizes the neighborhood with color, loud noises, and plenty of extravagant costumes. In its inaugural year in 1986 on Halloween, about twenty-five participants started at J.R.’s Bar & Grill, from where they ran a block and a half down 17th Street.

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