Bawlmer’s Best Hon 2013 sang her step down number “At the HonFest”, a lyrically altered Copacabana…
Big hair and makeup are always the fashion At the HonFest.
…before the 2014 Best Hon was crowned!
This weekend I kept my hair high, but toned down my makeup to become Agora The Hon for Baltimore’s annual HonFest. Not being a Bawlmerian, or even an America, I find it hard to some up the atmosphere of this event. So I’ve done the lazy, but ultimately correct thing, and borrowed some words from the HonFest Producer…
HonFest is a local tradition. The Bawlmer term of endearment, Hon, short for Honey, embodies the warmth and affection bestowed upon our neighbors and visitors alike by historic working-women of Baltimore. HonFest is an annual celebration in honor of these women. (Denise Whiting, creator and producer of The Hampden HonFest)http://www.honfest.net/whatis.html
For once, I was not nervous to venture out in my hair and sparkly clothing. I was so excited to attend this female focused event, where women honor their nurturers. Much of my drag is drawn from imitating and caricaturing women in my family, to ultimately pay homage to them. HonFest was a place to dress up like your mum, or grandma, and celebrate their warmth and quirks.
I must have done something right, because many people were stopping me on the street and asking to have photos with me. Of course I obliged. I’m here to serve and appear on your facebook. A lady with her small daughter walked past me and I heard her say, “Look there’s a Hon, see that lady. She’s a Hon, that’s a Hon dress.” Awesome. On my way to HonFest I had to stop to fill my car with petrol, and a woman called out from her car, “Oh I love your hair! I used to where mine like that in the 60s!” I was all like, “Thanks, Hon.”
The day was spectacular! The community atmosphere in Hampden was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Every business in the area had taken their products to the street (including Lottery Tickets and Newspapers), and business was booming. Cafe Hon was adorned with a huge beehive’d pink flamingo, and even my cocktails came with cat-eye glasses.
Additionally, HonFest celebrates the John Waters films which made the area (and the Hon image) globally popular. Waters’ consistent casting of drag artist Devine connects Baltimore’s feminine history with drag. Further I was trilled to see the town celebrate women of varying sizes and ages, and embrace us more round ladies as symbols of feminine beauty.
Finally, this year was the 20th Anniversary of HonFest, and in honor of the occasion an incredible mural was created. Here I am standing next to it!
I was able to grab a few choice pictures with this year’s “Best Hons”. But you can check out all the photos on the Gallery Page.
oxoxo Agora The Hon