I'm too sexy for Durango

Snowdown's drag fashion show takes over El Rancho


David Richardson, dressed as Minnie Mouse, dances on the catwalk Thursday night during the Snowdown “Drag Race and Fashion Show” at the El Rancho Bar. Richardson claimed first place in the fashion show. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

David Richardson, dressed as Minnie Mouse, dances on the catwalk Thursday night during the Snowdown “Drag Race and Fashion Show” at the El Rancho Bar. Richardson claimed first place in the fashion show.

Hairy chests mixed with high heels, wigs and lots of eye makeup at the newly resurrected What Big Heels You Have “Drag” Race and Fashion Show on Thursday night.

El Rancho Tavern hosted the show, which included a runway walk followed by an obstacle course. Participants were competing to be named the best drag male, the best drag female and the trashiest model.

Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz,” Minnie Mouse and the Big Bad Wolf, all drag-style, were the most recognizable of the 10 contestants who strutted their stuff.

Chase LaCroix, whose Dorothy outfit included a pigtail wig, red sparkly shoes and lots of glitter, said he didn't need any persuasion to join the event.

“My wife didn't have to pressure me too much,” said LaCroix, whose wife, Jennifer LaCroix, helped organize the event. “I knew I made the best trashy lady in Durango.”

LaCroix and a few others got help with their hair and makeup at the Spaaah Shop and Fusion Hair Salon, which both offered pre-event prepping services as part of contest entry.

During the fashion show, contestants' creativity went far beyond walking as they made their way down the runway.

They shimmied, thrusted and twirled to the beat of pop music and the cheers of the crowd. For most, there seemed to be no lack of modesty.

After the winners were announced, (David Richardson dressed as a very revealing Minnie took the top prize) contestants prepared for the obstacle course. Their task? Limbo under a pole, chug a glass of beer or a soda, carry a tray of shot glasses while sashaying through a line of traffic cones and, finally, hula hoop for as long as possible.

While every participant made it through the beginning of the course, hula-hooping proved an insurmountable challenge to most.

Though the drag show was new to Snowdown this year, the Spaaah Shop used to put on a similar event until a few years ago.

After Snowdown last year, employees at the Spaaah Shop, Hair Fusion and El Rancho Tavern co-owner Chip Lile started talking about reviving the show, Lile said.

Organizers weren't sure what to expect from the event, said Kristi Zink, co-organizer of the drag show and a manager at the Spaaah Shop.

“We're just doing it by the seat of our pants, as Snowdown should be,” she said before the event.

But judging from the packed bar and the raucous El Rancho crowd throughout the show, there was no doubt it was a hit.

“It was amazing,” Jennifer LaCroix said afterward. “Thanks to Durango for the epic turnout.”

ecowan@durangoherald.com