Because South Florida hasn’t been hot enough lately…
…the 2017 Miss Firecracker Pageant will scorch Key West on Monday, the 3rd of July, beginning promptly at 8 p.m., at LaTeDa, 1125 Duval, in the upstairs Crystal Room.
Produced this year by Elle Taylor, hosting the festivities will be newly-annointed Queen Mother QMitch.
The evening will also include appearances by former Miss Firecrackers and reigning 2016 Miss Firecracker Blue Diamond (Brian Glassberg).
The event has always been pure camp but its intent serious. It was July 4, 1987. The Miss South Carolina Pageant was about to happen at a posh local club. Management at a competing club sought something to lure patrons.
This might have been a “men’s bar,” but they still knew the lyrics from the musical “Gypsy:” ‘You gotta get a gimmick.’ Beers and brainstorming created the Miss Firecracker Pageant. There was no beauty on that runway. Hairy chests and faces were paired with rhinestones and high heels.
The winner was Charlene Sugarbaker (the late Charlie Powell). After Charlie relocated to Key West — and a few years after the South Carolina pageant folded — he assumed the matriarchal mantle, fine-tuning the pageant in 1994 into something more refined, to include drag performers who might otherwise never consider doing so and benefiting selected non-profit organizations or causes.
Reservation for Miss Firecracker 2017 are not necessary…just a $20 suggested donation at the door gains access to the sizzle.
This year, money generated from Miss Firecracker will equally assist the seven Florida organizations who will benefit from The SMART Ride 14 — Pridelines, Broward House, Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center, Metro Wellness and Community Centers, Miracle of Love, Inc., Compass Community Center and AIDS Help — and the Key West Mile Markers team, who make the 165-mile fundraising journey teams make from Miami to Key West mid-November.