KEY WEST (CBSMiami) – Decked out in staggeringly high heels, false eyelashes and loads of attitude, “drag racers” took to the famous Duval Street in the Southernmost City for Saturday’s Key West Great Conch Republic Drag Race.
Hosted by the island’s Bourbon Street Pub Complex, the racing action featured 16 high-heeled female impersonators strutting their stuff complete with big hair, full makeup and body-hugging mini-dresses or sporting attire.
Contestants raced on foot down a portion of Duval Street, Key West’s aptly nicknamed “main drag,” navigating an obstacle course of automobile tires and pushing scantily-clad “passengers” in shopping carts.
Entrants were judged on their speed and handicapped based on the height of their heels above the regulation minimum three inches. While they attempted to sprint down the course, some suffered footwear malfunctions, shopping cart mishaps and spills that slowed their pace.
The wacky drag challenge was part of Key West’s annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration that commemorates the Florida Keys’ 1982 secession from the United States — an action prompted by a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint erected at the head of the island chain.
The 2012 celebration runs through Sunday, April 29, with other events including a re-enactment of the original secession, a lighthearted sea battle featuring tall ships and an open-air bed race next Saturday dubbed “the most fun you can have in bed with your clothes on.”
The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report