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Philadelphia sets world record for drag queen story hour attendance

National Constitution Center Philadelphia Pennsylvania drag queens wave float 30th annual LGBTQ Pride Parade
Robert MacMillan/ Shutterstock; Ali Chehade/Shutterstock

Hundreds of people listened to five drag queens read childrens’ books to establish a new Guinness World Record.

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Organizers of adrag queen story time at the National Constitution Center inPhiladelphia report that several hundred attendees helped set a world record for attendance at such an event, marking the start ofPride Monthin the birthplace of America.

Saturday’s event, hosted by the Philadelphia Gay News and supported by Visit Philadelphia, featured local drag performers reading children’s books to an audience of 263 people. The Associated Pressreports that organizers recognized this as a new Guinness World Record in this category.

The drag performers entertained both adults and children with readings frombooks including Hello, Philadelphia! by Martha Day Zschock, ’Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick, Elmer by David McKee, The Family Book by Todd Parr, and Kevin the Unicorn: It’s Not All Rainbows by Jessika von Innerebner.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, five drag performers participated, including Brittany Lynn and Miss Aurora.

“Creating history-making moments like we’ve done today, hosted on land synonymous with our country’s fight for fundamental rights and freedom, serves as a powerful reminder of the resiliency, talent, and culture that make up the fabric of our great American city,” Mark Segal, publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, said In a statement to the AP.

Neil Frauenglass, chief marketing officer of Visit Philadelphia, shared the lengthy process involved in convincing Guinness to recognize the drag story time as a unique record, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. “It’s [been] quite a long process. We’ve been working on it for about eight months,” he said. “When we suggested drag story time, we had a lot of back and forth about whether it should be the largest story time, rather than qualify it with drag.”

Michael Empric, a Guinness adjudicator who oversaw the event, highlighted the standards set for this record. “We want it to be challenging and significant, so in this case, based on prior similar records, we set the minimum at 250,” he said. “Today, they ended up with 263.”

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Christopher Wiggins

Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).
Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).