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A record-breaking drag show broke boundaries – as well as a record – while paying tribute to the world’s oldest drag queen.

WILDFANG, Darcelle XV, & Eden Dawn (all USA) teamed up to stage the longest drag artist stage show, lasting a whopping 48 hr 11 min 30 sec.

The Drag-a-thon event took place at Darcelle XV in Portland, Oregon, USA on 12 July.

longest drag show a queen on stage

The club, opened in 1967, was owned and run by Walter W. Cole, aka “Darcelle XV”, who sadly passed away in March.

Walter had been named the oldest drag queen in 2016, when he was 85 years 273 days. He continued performing until the end.

He died of natural causes at the age of 92.

Darcelle XV

In celebration of his life and record-breaking achievement, drag artists took to the stage for an incredible marathon performance, beating the previous record of 36 hr 35 min 40 sec, set in Australia in 2017.

More than 120 drag queens, kings and emcees took to the stage for the extravaganza performance of over 600 songs and 700 set changes, with a crowd of at least 25 people required to be watching at any given time.

The event was so popular that people were even lined up outside at all hours of the day and night in the hope of being able to grab a seat.

The performance also sent a strong message, fighting back against the attack on drag from many right-wing politicians in the US.

More than 40 drag performances have been banned across the nation in the last year, inspiring gender non-conforming clothing brand WILDFANG to make a public statement in support of the art form and against the anti-LGBTQ legislation being introduced.

The event also raised $306,000 for The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth, and of course, celebrated Darcelle’s lasting legacy within the community.

longest drag show a queen performs

A host of celebrity emcees gave the show some extra sparkle, with stars including dancer and actor Frankie Grande, singer Carrie Brownstein and famous drag queens Peppermint, Eureka O’Hara and Lala Ri joining in the fun.

The record attempt concluded with the regular show cast from Darcelle’s performing gay anthem “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, before Adjudicator Michael Empric took to the stage to announce the results.

The queens and organizers broke down in tears as they heard they’d officially achieved the record in memory of their beloved late friend.

longest drag show certificate

Legendary Drag Queen RuPaul Charles even popped up to close the event with a video message recorded from the set of her TV show Drag Race Down Under.

“This event has been a historic testament to the power of self-expression,” said Emma McIlroy, Founder, and CEO of WILDFANG, as well as the producer of the Drag-a-thon. 

“I’ve produced a lot of shows over my career, but nothing like Drag-a-thon. We’re overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the Portland community—there’s no other city in the world where we could have pulled this off.”

longest drag show queens on stage

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