KEY WEST (CBS4) – Dresses, pancake makeup and high platform heels aren’t the traditional attire for drag car racers. But that’s what competitors wore in Key West this weekend, when a group of big-haired female impersonators staged the Great Conch Republic Drag Race.
Sanctioned by the Conch Republic’s NHRA (Natural “Hot Rod” Association), the Saturday afternoon event featured many of the trappings of a typical hot rodders’ event, including checkered flags and fierce competition, but with a quirky Key West twist.
Drag queens vied for position in time trials and multiple heats, cheered by several hundred spectators. Among their challenges were navigating an obstacle course of automobile tires and riding or pushing shopping carts down Duval Street — Key West’s aptly nicknamed “main drag.”
Hosted by the Bourbon Street Complex, the drag race is part of the island’s annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration. The 10-day festival commemorates the Florida Keys’ 1982 secession from the United States, prompted by the installation of a U.S. Border Patrol blockade at the head of Keys.
The celebration began this weekend and runs through Sunday, April 28, with events including a lighthearted sea battle featuring tall ships and an open-air bed race dubbed “the most fun you can have in bed with your clothes on.”
Source: Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau