The North America Office of Duesseldorf Tourism and Duesseldorf Airport Announce: Race of Drag Queens at Duesseldorf Carnival

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Parading is a big part of the carnival tradition in Düsseldorf where millions do it every year at the gigantic Rose Monday Parade, but the annual drag queen race on the Saturday before takes it to another level and speeds up the carnival weekend with drag queens zooming across Düsseldorf’s famous night club “Nachtresidenz” in record-breaking high heels and speeds followed by one of the city’s best parties.

Düsseldorf Carnival

Carnival weekend in Düsseldorf, including the Drag Queen Race and Rose Monday, is one of the best destinations in Europe for serious party seekers in the winter.

The countdown for Düsseldorf’s Carnival weekend (February 28 – March 4, 2014) has reached a fever pitch, and that sound includes drag queens in starting blocks ready to race each other down Düsseldorf’s famous night club “Nachtresidenz.” Düsseldorf again hosts the annual drag queen race (called “Tuntenlauf”) on Saturday evening (2014 date: March 1). Sure, speed is of the essence just as at any race, but heel height, dress and running style are just as important. Around 6:00 PM, when thousands line the streets to cheer the drag queens with “Tunte, Lauf!” (run, drag queen!), the motto is: may the fastest and funniest drag queen win.

The race started in 1995 and has since grown into one of the craziest carnival weekend events at a time when there is no shortage of craziness in Düsseldorf. Millions of revelers will be in the city then, gearing up for the Rose Monday Parade (2014 date: March 3), and the Tuntenball on the Saturday before the parade is the perfect reminder that anything goes and fun is as unstoppable now as guys in drag and high heels running and screaming and taking everyone along.

The race is part of one of the hottest dance parties in Düsseldorf at club “Nachtresidenz” that night. This rambunctious party begins at 5:30 PM and is a fundraiser for the city’s nonprofit “Heartbreaker,” a local AIDS charity. During the party, the winner of the Tuntenlauf is crowned, and the party continues to the wee hours.

Carnival weekend in Düsseldorf, including the Drag Queen Race and Rose Monday, is one of the best destinations in Europe for serious party seekers in the winter. The Rhine region is known as Germany’s center of carnival festivities, or Rhenish Carnival, and carnival in Düsseldorf is one of the strongholds. Carnival is not just one day, but a whole season, called Fools’ season, and always kicks off on November 11. It ends on Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent: March 5, 2014). The season culminates in Rose Monday, its highlight.

Because of Düsseldorf’s 260 bars, pubs, and restaurants in the city’s historic Old Town, the city is also known as “the longest bar in the world.” And these venues become the backdrop for the extended festivities as the carnival parties and events spill into the entire city and the revelers take over.

To jump into the carnival madness, travelers can hop on a plane (there are non-stop flights to Düsseldorf International Airport (DUS) from 7 North American cities), and be in the thick of things mere minutes after landing.

Düsseldorf’s tourism office is offering hotel and city specials for many of the city’s events throughout 2014, including a special carnival hotel package. The package, called “Düsseldorf Helau!” can be booked right from the tourism office’s website at Prices start at €69 per night per person based on double-occupancy for a 3-star hotel in the city center and at €76 per person for a 4-star hotel. The package includes breakfast, one breakfast board with carnival motive, one DüsseldorfCard (free public transportation within city limits plus 30 free or reduced admissions to city attractions), a city information package and a city guide. Please check the website for current information.

For more information about Carnival in Düsseldorf, please visit


Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourism GmbH is the visitors and convention bureau of the city of Düsseldorf. Its responsibilities include tourism and city marketing, as well as conference and meeting marketing, hotel reservation services, fairs and convention services, city event ticket sales and advance ticket reservations. For more information, visit

Düsseldorf Airport, Germany’s Next Generation HubTM, offers several non-stop flights from US & Canadian cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Toronto), as well as convenient connections to many European cities. For more information about the airport, visit

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Rainer Perry - NA Representative
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