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The Miss Adams Morgan Pageant is this Saturday night…and you can’t go. You may have never heard of the mega drag pageant held annually at the Washington Hilton, and that is how organizers would like to keep it.

First organized as a small event among friends over 20 years ago, the pageant packs thousands of participants into its annual party. Tickets are extremely hard to come by, and must be privately brokered from a pageant participant months in advance. Apart from the amateur contestants who compete for the crown, the crowd itself is filled with hundreds of guys in drag.

The pageant actively discourages publicity (I face a threat of a stiletto to the back of the head just in posting this). In the past, a media blackout was employed to protect the powerful lobbyists, congressional staffers and occasional elected officials who don dresses for a night. These days, its employed more for kitschy fun.

This is the second year that the Miss Adams Morgan Pageant has been slated for the same night as the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner (held at the Washington Convention Center). The result is two competing gay parties that each attract thousands of attendees.

If you can’t find a ticket to the Miss Adams Morgan Pageant – which again, you won’t – many of the same quirky queens will parade themselves for free the Tuesday before Halloween at the 17th Street High Heel Race. If you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on bedazzled jewels and gold appliqué, you’d want to get more than one use out of that outfit too.

For a gay event a little less flamboyant, head over to Taint on Sunday night at the D.C. 9. The gay rock-and-roll party is held the Sunday of each three-day federal holiday weekend. Expect more Shins and less sequins.

For More information: www.TaintDC.com