It’s hot, and it’s only getting hotter…it’s time for The 2011 Miss Firecracker Pageant Friday, July 1st in the Garden Bar of Bourbon St. Pub, 724 Duval.
Produced by Smyrna Emphezema (Terry Paulson), the competition promises to scorch Key West. Besides the contestant roster, still being finalized, the evening will include appearances by former Miss Firecrackers, the reigning 2010 Miss Firecracker Jessica Deveraux, a 10th anniversary remembrance of Ronda Riviera plus the presentation of the Ronda Riviera Humanitarian award, named after the late Ron Wright (the 2001 Miss Firecracker). Goddess Galore hosts.
The event is pure camp but its intent is serious. In July, 1987, The Miss South Carolina Pageant was about to happen at a posh local club. A competing club created The Miss Firecracker Pageant, where hairy chests were paired with high heels. Charlena Sugarbaker (the late Charlie Powell), relocated the competition, with some fine-tuning, to Key West in 1994 to benefit non-profit organizations.
“The pageant has raised over $85,000 to date, with AIDS Help its main recipient,” states Smyrna.
Other past winners include Crystella, Brandy Paige, Krystal Klear, Angelica Duval, Marilyn Daniels, Brown Sugar, Ms. D, Thomasina, Kitty Kazwell, Vita Vixen, Charo, Smyrna, Raquel, Just Whitney, Gugi Gomez and Jennipher Tyler.
The Garden Bar will begin selling standing room tickets for The 2011 Miss Firecracker Pageant at 7 p.m. (the pageant itself begins at 8 p.m.). General admission is twenty dollars. Reserved table seating ($100/4 seats) is still available by calling Paulson at AIDS Help: 305-293-3666. Those interested in donning contestant finery are also urged to contact Paulson; there is ano application fee.
AIDS Help, a non-profit, community-based organization, provides case managed healthcare, affordable housing and housing assistance, food counseling, referral and support services for residents of Monroe County living with HIV/AIDS.

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