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13th Annual Beaver Queen Pageant Returns to the Duke Park Meadow

It's once again time for the Annual Beaver Queen Pageant! The pageant is in its 13th year and will be held Saturday, June 3rd in the meadow at Duke Park (Acadia at Knox Street). Pre-pageant activities begin at 4pm, and pageant starts at 5pm. The theme for this year’s pageant is “The Wizard of Gnawz!” This free event is a hit with kids of all ages due to the outrageous costumes and audience engagement.

The Beaver Queen Pageant is Durham’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and introduce themselves in their wetlands ready wear, participate in an interview in their finest evening wear, and showcase their unique talent. This year’s contestants include: Beaver La Resistance, The Cowardly Beaver, Phil A. Rhee Ellerbe, Fur-Eddie Mercury, Glean-da The Good Beaver, and Platypussy Galore. This year’s theme, the Wizard of Gnawz, promises to attract characters and talent of vaguely familiar forms. WUNC’s Frank Stasio will once again serve as emcee.

There will be food trucks: Locopops, Momma's Hot Chicken, Only Burger, and Pie Pushers. There will also be a Scrap Exchange booth where people of all ages can make their own beaver tails. Dressing up is encouraged.

The event raises money for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA). The lead business sponsors include Vaguely Reminiscent and Acme Plumbing. G. Crabtree Spaces, Locopops, Raleigh Brewing, Progressive Water Solutions, and Seaplane are sponsoring at the judge level. The public can vote for favorite contestants or bribe a judge at

The mission of the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) is to preserve, protect, and restore a healthy, living Ellerbe Creek watershed. Ellerbe Creek flows for more than 20 miles through Durham to Falls Lake, Raleigh’s water supply. Sadly, the Creek is listed as one of North Carolina’s most polluted streams. The money raised through the Beaver Queen Pageant supports ECWA’s long-term goals for the watershed including creating an interconnected network of trails and nature preserves, restoring water quality and habitat in Ellerbe Creek, and creating green space for people in the community to enjoy. Since 1999, ECWA has protected over 335 acres of land along Ellerbe Creek and its tributary streams, restoring these forgotten and neglected areas into community assets as six public nature preserves.

For more information: Rachel Cohn, 919-698-9729 or