D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to pay tribute to the late Annie Kaylor of Annie’s Paramount Steak House on Tuesday night minutes before he gives the signal for the start of the annual Halloween drag High Heel Race set to begin at 9 p.m. at 17th and R streets, N.W.
According to Sterling Washington, director of the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs, Gray is to present to Paul Katinas, Annie Kaylor’s nephew, a duplicate version of the soon-to-be installed street sign designating a one-block section of Church Street between 17th Street and Stead Park as “Annie’s Way.”
Gray, who has been named grand marshal for this year’s high heel race, submitted legislation to the City Council calling for naming the street after the restaurant long known as Annie’s and in honor of Kaylor, who died in July at the age of 86.
Annie’s Paramount Steak House has been in business on 17th Street for 65 years. A long-time friend and supporter of D.C.’s LGBT community, Annie Kaylor has been recognized as a beloved figure by both the LGBT and Dupont Circle communities since she began work at the restaurant as a bartender and night manager in the 1950s.
Mayoral spokesperson Robert Marus said a separate dedication ceremony to officially install the “Annie’s Way” street signs would likely take place in late winter or early spring after the legislation is approved by the Council and clears the required 30 legislative day review period by Congress for all city legislation.
The annual high heel race organized by the 17th Street gay bar JR.’s attracts more than a thousand of spectators, many of whom come in Halloween costumes, to watch as many as two dozen or more men, dressed in drag and wearing high heels, race along the street in what has become a highly competitive contest.