18 June, 2010
The Beaver Queen Pageant 2010Comments : 4 Posted in : Events on by : The Gourmez
Two weekends ago, I attended the annual Beaver Queen Pageant in the Duke Park Meadow. Beaver Queen Pageant, you ask, is that a celebration of woodland creatures in all their waddling, chewing glory?
Why, yes, of course. What else would it be about?
In truth, the Beaver Queen pageant is organized every year by a group of Durhamites under the banner of Beaver Lodge Local 1504 to raise funds for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Organization. In the name of protecting waterlands and celebrating peace, love, and beavers,
a fun, drag, and somehow family-friendly event, with more beaver tails and double entendres than is really prudent for any one evening, is held. Several predetermined candidates for Beaver Queen show up in their best outfits and compete in introductory material, talent, evening wear, and a highly appropriate interview question that I can’t remember right now. How do they win? By convincing the proudly corruptible judges’ panel through their actions, bribes, and the bought votes of the audience that they are the most deserving of the title, of course.
From what I hear, this pageant is growing every year, and I couldn’t get a good vantage point outside of the direct sun, so sit in the bright sun I did. There were a few of Durham’s trusty food trucks about, providing much needed refreshment on a hot, muggy, June day. I tried Liberacion Juice Station for the first time, an herbal smoothie/tonic truck that offered a special tonic water called the Quenched Beaver that day. It was made of nettles, lemon balm, rosewater, and agave syrup, and it quenched this beaver very well, providing a mildly sweet, sustaining drink that probably kept me from sunstroke. It was really hot, and I was definitely unprepared.
The festivities began with a New Orleans-style funeral of mourning for the water creatures suffering from the oil spill and celebrating them and all the goodness that the Gulf brings us. This was the funeral line and the brass band heading toward the main stage:
Wool E. Bull, the Durham Bulls’ mascot, ended the funeral line wearing his own impressive beaver tail. Wool E. Bull came folks-I told you it was family friendly.
The first beaver queen then led us all in a recitation of the Beaver Chant to begin the pageant.
The judging panel was introduced next by Beaver Streisand, with entrendre-filled backstories for each judge.
They spent the rest of the pageant off to the side of the stage, happily taking all bribes and whatever tail any of the contestants or audience members brought their way. Not a bad gig, I’d say. Here was some illicit bribery going on:
After that, there was entertainment by past beaver queens and contestants, and one very snog-happy man in chaps.
The contestants were introduced next. This year, they included 8-Second Ride,
Bambi, the Ruffled Beaver, who was showing off her fine assets here,
Bull’s-Eye Beaver, who gave some fine beaver-themed song performances,
Dreaded Beaver, whose coat got all messed up and matted from dirty water,
and Scarlett O’Beavah, who was always flocked by her, uh, girls.
I did not stay for much of the evening gown round-that sun really wore me down-but I was happy to hear that Scarlett O’Beavah was declared the new Queen Beaver for 2010. Her girls do have the cleanest wetlands in the South, after all, and if that’s not a qualification for the title, I don’t know what is.
There are plenty more pictures at our photo website, if you’d like to see more Durham beaver action.
I definitely enjoyed the Beaver Queen Pageant, and love the fact that I live in a community that would put on such an event as the Beaver Queen Pageant. If I’m not out of town next year, I think I will have to make my own tail to bring along with my chair, camera, water, sunscreen, and bribery dollars. Thanks for a fun, free event, Beaver Lodge!