The High Heel Race

©Miki Jourdan

The High Heel Race, last Tuesday on 17th Street, has been a D.C. tradition since 1986. Sadly, there was no race last year due to the pandemic, but it came back this year with great happiness for both the participants and the large crowds.

The race is brief, but in the two hours before the race there’s constant parading and striking dramatic poses.

©Miki Jourdan
©Rob Klug
©Victoria Pickering
©Victoria Pickering

Traditions

There’s always a mix of classic and new costumes. The wicked witch is one of the classics.

©Miki Jourdan

The D.C. Sisters come in their habits every year.

©Victoria Pickering
©Rob Klug
©Victoria Pickering

The first race originally started informally at J.R.’s bar, and the manager of J.R.’s, Dave Perruzza, ran the race for 25 years. It was then taken over by the mayor’s office, and the mayor attends the event most years.

Mayor Bowser. ©Miki Jourdan

In the news

There are always some costumes that are based on today’s news and culture. This year there was a group opposing the Texas abortion ban, complete with Texas flags, pregnant bellies, and wire hangers.

©Victoria Pickering
©Rob Klug

There were a few pandemic-themed costumes, including medication references and the free donut offer to the vaccinated at Krispy Kreme. There was also a vaccination booth set up at the race.

©Victoria Pickering
©Miki Jourdan

With the new season of The Crown, Princess Diana made a regal entrance with a long train and royal guards.

©Miki Jourdan
©Rob Klug

Libations

Some contestants celebrated the event with champagne.

©Rob Klug
©Victoria Pickering
©Rob Klug
©Angela N.

All around joy

No matter what costumes the participants chose, all were exuberant and entertained the happy crowds along 17th Street.

©Angela N.
©Miki Jourdan
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Angela N.
@Victoria Pickering
©Victoria Pickering
©Rob Klug
©Miki Jourdan

Cheer D.C. and the Different Drummers came to energize the crowd.

©Victoria Pickering
©Rob Klug

The race!

The three-block race goes by in a blur, as a fun culmination to the evening.

©Angela N.
©Angela N.
©Angela N.

And don’t forget about the heels – all contestants must run in the highest of heels.

We’re so grateful to see some of the D.C. traditions come slowly back during this phase of the pandemic, and while the wind gusted on Tuesday night, it didn’t rain on the parade.

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