“So, you wanna dress up as a woman and race down Main Street?” The question seemed innocent enough.
My first Z’Sparkle drag race event August 9 is still bringing laughs to my friends and family. A day that had started innocently enough with a trip to Goodwill, Claire’s, and Payless Shoes, culminated in a party of outrageously dressed men (and women) running down Main St. in Zionsville.
After transforming into “Aunt Flo” for the night, I have a new appreciation for womanhood. Finding a glamour dress in a size 2XL was pretty difficult. Makeup wasn’t fun. Nothing brings a guy to tears faster than an eyelash curler. And of course, the shoes. I opted to wear size 12 wedge sandles, somewhat fashionable and ankle sprain-proof.
My first stop of the evening was at Eddy’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill at Geist Reservoir. A small group of friends had gathered on the patio anxiously awaiting Aunt Flo (my drag queen name for the night). Immediately, cash was being stuffed into my top and my clutch (a small purse for you guys that don’t know what that is.) I strolled inside to the bar and the “tipping” trend continued. Before I left, I had raised just over $100 and recruited five pit crew members to join me.
When we arrived, I breathed a sigh of relief after seeing some really ugly women that I quickly realized were men who were there for the drag race. We kept telling ourselves that the money was going to a great cause: the Alzheimer’s Association. A VIP tent for my crew and me awaited us, and organizers went out of their way to pamper us: Triton beers, Chef Matt Hybrich’s culinary talents, music, and most importantly, a place to sit and rest our feet.
Trading my watch in for a bracelet, I wasn’t sure what time it was all evening. However, plenty of volunteers helped us line up for introductions by emcees Anne Ryder and Ray Cortopassi. After we were introduced, which came with it’s own side story, my drag queen friends and I paraded down Main St. soliciting donations from the hundreds of spectators who had gathered. Surprisingly there were a lot of children there, many who, I’m sure, had nightmares that evening!
One of the highlights of the night was meeting Steve Simon, the original drag racer that started this whole thing by losing a Super Bowl bet four years ago. He served as the grand marshal, riding in a convertible instead of donning a dress.
Perhaps the funniest scene of the night, and there were many, was the pregnant drag racer giving birth in the middle of the race right in front of the review stand. Of course, I captured it all on video (I don’t go anywhere without my GoPro camera.) We all finished and descended on the VIP tent for the rest of the night to celebrate our fundraising.
I want to thank my friends Rachel Quade, Tom Garriott, Neil Lucas, and Tom Williams for serving as my pit crew. The Z’Sparkle organizing committee and volunteers were fabulous and made a great night even more fun. I was most impressed with the turnout and support by the sponsors, namely Zionsville Meadows and the Alzheimer’s Association. Everywhere you looked was a volunteer or someone asking if you needed anything. Great job everyone.
Look for Aunt Flo to return next year in grander fashion. All told, I raised $492 for a great cause.