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Drag performers hit the ice in San Francisco

Reuters logo Reuters 12/3/2021 By Nathan Frandino
'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco © Reuters/BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL 'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco

By Nathan Frandino

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Drag Queens and a Drag King took over a San Francisco skating rink for the 12th annual "Drag Queens on Ice" show, dazzling spectators with their loud costumes, hilarious moves and some surprising skills.

Performers in fabulous outfits showed their flair in Union Square, the city's shopping district, on Thursday, lip-syncing and skating to songs like "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift, "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" by Shania Twain, and "All I Want for Christmas."

'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco © Reuters/BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL 'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco

It was the sixth ice show for San Francisco resident Drag Queen Paju Munro, who has been embodying the colorful persona for more than 15 years. Having grown up skating, the 45-year-old Brazilian has skills to wow the crowd but pointed out that the show is all about entertainment.

'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco © Reuters/BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL 'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco

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"At the end of the day, it's called 'Drag Queens on Ice', and not 'pro skaters dressing in drag'. People come here. They're expecting us to be funny, to fall. Nobody's expecting you to come in and do a triple axle and I mean if you can, kudos to you. It's the entertainment," Paju Munro said.

The event also featured 29-year-old Drag King Jota Mercury of Oakland, California. Mercury only skated on ice for the first time a few days ago.

'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco © Reuters/BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL 'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco

"Tonight is about Drag survival. I will be performing for my life tonight. I am so excited. (Performing at a drag) Brunch is always fun, but on ice it just adds that extra thrill," Jota said.

'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco © Reuters/BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL 'Drag Queens on Ice' event in San Francisco

The event marked the return of the show after it was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's edition also featured Denali Foxx, a Drag Queen who also starred on the hit television show RuPaul's Drag Race season 13, and American figure skater Brian Boitano.

(Reporting by Nathan Frandino; Editing by Diane Craft and Richard Chang)

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