CATHEDRAL CITY — Imagine there is a dramatic musical score playing that has just reached a crescendo and halts. An announcer speaks slowly and dramatically: Six weeks. Six bars. One tiara.
There you have it: The synopsis of the inaugural Cat City Drag Race that debuts Sept. 9. It is sponsored by the Cathedral City Gay Business Association. The Association’s goal is to increase LGBTQ tourism to Cathedral City, the second largest community in the Coachella Valley.
“This is the first coordinated, large-scale event to do that,” Chris Parman, events and communications manager for Cathedral City, told Uken Report. “Our main obstacle to overcome is Arenas Road in Palm Springs.”
Arenas Road is legendary for its gay bars and nightlife.
“This is designed to be a fun activity and a way to have a fun experience in Cathedral City,” Parman said. “It’s not your typical drag show. There is a certain level of uncertainty as to who will win.”
Competition for the tiara is open to men, women, and intersex persons. The winner will be crowned “Royal Highness of Cat City.”
“It’s an opportunity for the audience to have fun and see some wonderful performances,” said Parman who will serve as official scorekeeper.
Cathedral City was reportedly the first Coachella Valley community, to have gay bars among its businesses. The Association is aiming to bring back some of what it lost to Palm Springs.
“We know how to have a good time,” Parman said.
Yet-to-be named celebrity judges will help decide who ultimately wears the tiara.
The idea for the event was the brainchild of Vince Scalise, a drag queen known as Anita Treadmill. Parman said he and the Cathedral City Gay Business Association helped bring the idea to fruition.
Scalise lives in Palm Springs but said he gravitates toward Cathedral City. He has a show at Trunks Bar.
“Palm Springs gets a lot of recognition for its drag shows,” Scalise told Uken Report. “Why not Cathedral City?”
Here is who it all works. You can help the Cathedral City Gay Business Association find the “Royal Highness of Cat City” during the ultimate Drag Race. Up to 15 contestants will compete for the best drag over the five- week competition starting on Monday, Sept. 9 through Monday, Oct. 7.
Contestants will be scored by five judges on originality, themed outfit, personality, and performance.
But Parman said, “Don’t let the smiles fool you. There will be shade.”
After the weekly performances, each contestant gets to spin the “Wheel of Shade” to either add or subtract points from their competitors. Plus, the audience gets to make the most noise for the crowd favorite worth 25 points.
The contestant with the most points each week wins a prize. The contestant with the most points at the finish line wins the title. Weekly winners will receive $100; the overall winner wins $500, a sash, photo ops and more.
The event will be hosted by Anita Treadmill with music by DJ Galaxy.
The schedule and weekly location includes:
- Monday, Sept. 9, Studio One 11
- Monday, Sept. 16, The Barracks Bar
- Monday, Sept. 23, The Runway
- Monday, Sept. 30, The Roost Lounge
- Monday, Oct. 7, Trunks Cathedral City
- Monday, Oct. 14, Winner Meet and Greet at AMP Sports Lounge
Cocktails start at 6 p.m. followed by the nightly show at 7 p.m.
Admission is free. Must be 21 years of age or older to attend.
- Chris Parman: City of Cathedral City
- Two drag queens: Image by Marcel van Engelenburg from Pixabay
- Drag Queen: Image by kylewhadley from Pixabay