Church Street in Burlington is no stranger to characters, but Wednesday night's Drag Race gave the title Queen City a whole new meaning.
"God, it has got to be hard running in those shoes!" said Ryan Stanley of Burlington.
The race attracted hundreds of onlookers and participants from across the state.
"We are actually from Beaver Pond in the Northeast Queendom," explained Amber LeMay, of the House of LeMay.
Drag queens took to the streets raising money and awareness for the upcoming Pride Parade and Festival this weekend. It's an annual celebration for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and their supporters.
"New York was a huge win for us because it is such a big population," said Lucy Goose of Pride Vermont.
And this year they'll be celebrating progress on gay rights like same-sex marriage.
"We are trying to collaborate with other smaller communities that have other groups and prides and try and make it a statewide welcoming celebration. Get everyone on board with us and celebrate pride the way Burlington does," Goose said.
"Showing that it is OK to be yourself. Don't care what people think, just have fun with it!" said Vivian Taylor, a drag queen.
Anyone with a love for fashion or just fun was invited to run in the Queen City Drag Race.
"United for pride and just having a good time with our good friends," drag queen Lady Luscious said.
"It is like walking on a bed of nails," said Peggy Sue of Pride Vermont.
Asked about technique for a drag race, LeMay advised, "Run on the balls of your feet! On the balls of your feet!"
The competition wasn't the only thing racers were worried about.
Reporter Molly Smith: Are you nervous?
William Cubitt, Burlington: Yes!
Smith: About what?
Cubitt: (Laughing) The heels!
Those with a fear of heights raced down Church Street in their flats.
No stranger to running in heels, I chose to participate in the race! I strapped on a pair of heels and tested my skills in the 3-inch category, but wasn't so speedy in my stilts. Lucky for me my only injury was a bruised ego-- others couldn't say the same!
The next race had some pretty high stakes, 6 inches to be exact.
Queens took some time to show exactly what they were working with, but a second lap proved a champion! Bragging rights won't do in this crowd, but gold plated heels will! All winners were presented high heel statues. And a whole year to train for next year's race.
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