11th Annual Beaver Queen Pageant Saturday June 6th!

passing judgement on best beaver tails

Past Pageant Queens Passing Judgement on Best Beaver Tails
Photo courtesy Aaron Zalonis Photography

The 11th Annual Beaver Queen Pageant, a free and fun event, will be held on Saturday, June 6th in the meadow at Duke Park (Acadia at Knox Street) in Durham. Pre-pageant activities will begin at 4pm, and the pageant will start at 5pm. The theme for this year’s pageant is “Beavers do Bollywood!”


Dancing Unicorn
Photo courtesy Aaron Zalonis Photography

The Beaver Queen Pageant is one of Durham’s marquee events and is rich in the history and culture of the community. Started in 2005 by members of the Duke Park neighborhood in order to protect beavers from a potentially harmful road construction project; it has grown into a large scale event that attracts hundreds of people from all over the Triangle who are interested in protecting wetlands and want to give a helping hand to beavers. It is a free, family-friendly beaver ‘beauty pageant’ that is a creative outlet for both the contestants and the audience.

Frank Stasio

MC Frank Stasio of NPR
Photo courtesy Aaron Zalonis Photography

As with every pageant the five beaver-drag contestants will walk the swamp-way in their evening gown attire, participate in an interview, and showcase their skills in the talent section.  The judges are anything but impartial as the audience ‘bribes’ them to support the performer they like the best, adding to the entertainment value of the event. WUNC’s Frank Stasio will serve as emcee for the fourth straight year.

Crowd in the Meadow at Duke Park
Photo courtesy Aaron Zalonis Photography

This annual event in Duke Park is a hit with kids of all ages due to the outrageous costumes and audience engagement. More than just being fun, it honors diversity, supports community, promotes creativity, and adds to the uniqueness of Durham. Food trucks on site will include Only Burger, Sympathy for the Deli, Pie Pushers, and The Parlour. There will also be a Locopops cart and a Scrap Exchange booth where people of all ages can make their own beaver tails! Dressing up is encouraged.

The Judges

The Judges
Photo courtesy Aaron Zalonis Photography

The event is a fundraiser for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association and its purpose is to raise awareness of our community’s waterways and pockets of nature, and to raise money to help protect and restore these precious resources for all to enjoy.

Bulltown Strutters

The Bulltown Strutters
Photo courtesy Aaron Zalonis Photography

ECWA encourages community involvement with Ellerbe Creek and the land alongside it, through workdays, nature hikes, and outreach into schools and neighborhoods that border the creek. Long-term goals for the organization include creating an interconnected network of trails and nature preserves linking downtown to Falls Lake, restoring water quality and habitat in Ellerbe Creek, and creating spaces for people in the community to enjoy.

...and the winner is Furrah Gnawsett-Majors

2012 Queen Furrah Gnawsett-Majors
Photo courtesy Aaron Zalonis Photography

11th Annual Beaver Queen Pageant
Date: Saturday June 6th
Time: 4pm (pre-pageant fun) 5pm (pageant begins)
Location: Duke Park in Durham (Acadia at Knox Street)

Photos used with permission from Aaron Zalonis Photography. Visit his 2012 Beaver Queen Pageant photo album on flickr here.


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Filed under Durham, Events, Food Trucks

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