We’re almost two weeks into 2013, but here at #DRAG we’re still looking back at our crazy NYE celebrations. Speaking of which, something rather interesting popped up on our radar earlier today. It’s the so-called annual ‘drag queen drop’, held in Key West, Florida.
Gary “Sushi” Marion, the star of a weekly drag queen review in Key West, told CNN: “They said, ‘We have an idea: Let’s do a shoe drop … We made this shoe for you … You’ve got to sit in it for New Year’s Eve,’ and I said ‘OK,’ and that is how it started.”
When it started back in 1996, the authorities were apparently less than pleased with the event as the pub owner did not have a permit.
Crowds started to gather, attracting the attention of police, who tried to shut down the event because the pub owner didn’t have a permit.
“(The police) came upstairs to the balcony and told me to get out of the shoe,” Marion said. “The owner called the mayor and the mayor was like, ‘Leave Sushi alone, close down the street.’ ”
So every New Year’s Eve, Marion would take a seat inside a massive high-heeled red shoe made out of chicken wire, paper mache and plywood, dangling off the roof of the Bourbon Street Pub along Key West’s main street.
Just like the spectacular ball in New York’s Times Square, the shoe would be lowered with each final minute of the year until the clock struck midnight.
The event has gained huge popularity over the years; Marion is still the star of the show, but simply claims to be sitting in a “better-constructed shoe”.
The crowd attracted to this event is diverse, with not just the gay community seeing in the new year, but also tourists and locals enjoying the festivities.
“You’ll have older gay men next to a family with kids, next to guys in leather, next to a bunch of rowdy bachelorettes,” Marion said. “Everybody’s welcome.”
And from the pictures, it seems like everyone is having a rather good time! Which makes us wonder: HOW DO THESE EVENTS NOT HAPPEN IN THE UK?!