Beaver Queen
this Saturday

The thirteenth annual Beaver Queen Pageant is this Saturday in Duke Park. The Clarion Content is a long-time fan.

Beaver Queen brings them out to Duke Park

Beaver Queen brings them out to Duke Park

It is the big annual fundraiser for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Ellerbe Creek is one of our area’s most important watersheds and environmentally diverse habitats.

It all started with a group of individuals trying to save a beaver den from an Interstate Highway.

This year the theme of the Beaver Queen is the Wizard of Gnaws. (eg. Oz).


Beaver Queen 2017


The Pageant is fun and family-style frivolity for all. It is part talent show, part parade, New Orleans participatory style. There are food trucks. The Scrap Exchange always has a tent where attendees can construct their own beaver costume tail and all.

Many arrive in costume.

The official Beaver Queen website notes: “This year’s theme, the Wizard of Gnawz, inspires all sorts of costume ideas: sparkly ruby shoes, a beaver in a basket, flying beavers in red soldier suits, green faces, and so much more. That said please wear whatever floats your beaver boat, and dress for the weather.

our publisher, Aaron Mandel, pictured with dear friend and columnist, Bonnie Cohen, at Beaver Queen

publisher, Aaron Mandel, pictured w/ dear friend and columnist, Bonnie Cohen, at Beaver Queen

from Beaver Queen 2013

from Beaver Queen 2013

The jokes are bawdy, after all the theme is Beavers. But like the best of the Pixar films, the adults laugh and the kids go right on enjoying the show with nary a clue.

Beaver Queen 2017 jokes 2

Beaver Queen 2017 jokes

For the youngest among us, there is a hose and some water toys available in the Duke Park area where the pageant is held.

It is a diverse and usually fabulous crowd.

Those vying for best beaver this year include: Beaver La ResistanceThe Cowardly BeaverPhil A. Rhee EllerbeFur-Eddie MercuryGlean-da The Good Beaver, and Platypussy Galore.

There is no doubt Beaver Queen is extremely popular within Durham’s vibrant LBGTQ community. It is one thing to preach LBGTQ tolerance to a child, it is another thing entirely to take them to the Beaver Queen pageant where they can laugh, and smile, and see for themselves that everybody has the same heart, the same guts, and the same soul that they do. (All while supporting the environment.)

Bring a blanket or a chair and slather on the sunscreen. Don’t forget to do the tops of your ears.

Votes for the pageant contestants cost $5. The pageant winner is announced near the end of the festivities. Proceeds are donated to Ellerbe Creek.

Clarion Content

Clarion Content is a Durham-based online magazine that curates and creates the thriving culture that gives our city its identity. Our community building is only as strong as our collective contributions. Our team of curators welcomes your comments, suggestions, and concerns. We are open to all points of view, especially those that challenge and therefore stimulate our own. We also encourage reader submitted material as well as guest columnists. See something cool, outrageous, outlandish, or important? Have a great cause? Send us a note or stop by our offices at the Mothership, 401 West Geer Street inside the MotorCo complex.

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