Ready, set, DRAG!

3rd Annual Queen City Drag Race works it out for charities

If you’re a NASCAR fan, this may not be the drag race you were looking for, but, oh what fun it was! Teams of four gathered at Hartigan’s Irish Pub to take part in the 3rd Annual Queen City Drag Race on May 12. The event is an annual fundraiser that benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as well as other charities selected by the contestants.

Taking a nod from the success of shows like “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the Queen City Drag Race puts competing teams against one another, not for personal glory or fame, but to financially support organizations and causes. Contestants participate in a series of individual competitions and team relay races and are scored on their performances to determine the winners.

Contests this year were scored on their performance in the Diva Dash 100, an individual race, and the Pit Crew Challenge team race, as well as their overall money raised prior to and during the event. Awards were also given out for Team Spirit, Best-dressed Drag Team, Best Drag Makeup and the coveted Miss Congeniality.

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Spectators arrived early and celebrated in the Hartigan’s parking lot with music by DJ Little Betty and performances by local drag queens including Bella Dior Jade, Brianna La’Shawn Davis, Jessica Raynes, Kiana Layne, Lola Olivia Lovelace, Starla DaVinci and more.

A representative from NASCAR Team Lafferty Motorsports was present for the annual race and shared a message from their team. During one of the breaks between competitions, unsuspecting spectators donned drag for the first time and worked the crowd to increase the total amount of funds raised.

Each year 50 percent of funds raised go to the support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The remaining money is split between the top three teams to go to their selected cause or organization. This year, the Queen City Drag Race raised over $2,500 to be split amongst the charities.

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At the end of the day first place went to team Heel’s Angels who chose Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) as their beneficiary. RAIN was also selected as the beneficiary of Team Toxic who came in second place. Third place went to returning contestants Team Britney Gears who were sponsoring Campus Pride.

While the drag race was on May 12, there were events leading up to and following the big race. Prior to the fun, Marigny hosted a Pit Crew party on May 10 in the evening and on May 11 a kick-off party featuring Shangela from season two (…and three) of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” was held at Scorpio. After the race there was time for a victory lap with an after party at Marigny. Participants finished off the weekend with a full-throttle drag brunch hosted by the one and only Buff Faye.

Buff Faye, the Drag Diva and host of the race, was grateful for the turnout this year and is looking forward to an even bigger drag race next year. “Whew! Congrats to the teams who won this year. Heels were smoking! Plus, special thanks to all the teams who participated! It takes a lot to put on a wig and heels for the first time. As a community it is important to celebrate and have fun raising money for local charities we all care about. My pit crew and I are proud of this annual tradition in the Queen City and look forward to next year raising even more money. Buy some heels and join the race!”

Will Heel’s Angels return next year to defend their title against this year’s competitors? Are you man enough to throw on a pair of heels and a wig and join in the competition? It’s never to early to start practicing and make sure to come out for next year’s drag race! : :

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Posted by O'Neale Atkinson

O'Neale Atkinson is a former editor of QNotes, serving in the position from Jan. 23, 2012 to June 15, 2012. His first issue as editor was published on Feb. 4, 2012. His last issue was published June 23, 2012. O'Neale currently serves as operations manager of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte.