More than 30 years after the first Wigstock hit Tompkins Square Park, New York's iconic drag festival returned to the city—or at least the waters surrounding it—Sunday night in the form of Wigstock: The Cruise.
The event, hosted by Wigstock co-founder and drag legend Lady Bunny aboard the Hornblower Infinity (what did you call me), reunited classic Wigstock performers like Flotilla DeBarge, H.R.H. Princess Diandra, Sweetie, Linda Simpson, and more.
Offstage, attendees also brought the glamor. Check out some of my favorite looks (and Wigstock stories) in the photos below.
1. "It's entertaining. I'm seeing people I haven't seen in 20 years."
2. "The cruise is nice. It's beautiful to be on the water."
3. These two are James Stark (left) and Ashton Cruz (right). Cruz made both of their wigs.
"I've been going to Wigstock for years," Ashton said. "It's James' first Wigstock. He just turned 21, so I wanted to bring him to a real New York experience."
4. "This is my first Wigstock," Daphne Sumtimez told me.
"I'm loving it so far. It's fucking hot, but the sun will go down and then we'll be in our element."
5. "We're here representing Bushwig," Daphne (far left) said of her group. "We're Brooklyn girls."
"Bushwig is a drag festival that takes place every year out in Brooklyn, and it's put on by Horrorchata. She's amazing, a renowned DJ, travels all over the world, bullshit, bullshit, plug, plug, plug. This year it's Sept. 11 to 13, location TBA."
6. Did somebody say "Michael Musto photobomb"? Because Michael Musto photobomb.
7. Look at this JRPG fantasy.
9. "You know, I used to love it when Wigstock was on the pier," fashion writer and editor Lynn Yaeger said.
"John Kelly would sing 'Wigstock' at the end. That was a very touching affair. It was very poignant, right in the middle of the AIDS crisis. To me, it was a very touching moment."
10. "It's entertaining," Wigstock co-founder Hattie Hathaway (right) said. "I'm seeing people I haven't seen in 20 years."
"So many of my [Wigstock] memories are about people who are no longer with us, like Wendy Wild. She came out onstage, bald from chemotherapy, dragging a bag of the chemo on an IV pole stand."
"Lady Bunny looks great—she lost a bit of weight. You know, goddess love her for continuing. I mean, 1985—that's a long time in this town. My wig is off to her."
11. "The boat's great. I don't even notice the wobbling!"
12. Lady Bunny, descending the upper deck's staircase like the grande dame that she is.
While onstage, she told the crowd of queens: "If anyone on this boat thinks they're real fish, prove it! Overboard! Now!"
13. These two are Neon Flux (left) and Demanda Dahling (right).
"I wish I was alive in the '90s," Neon told me. "I mean, I was, but barely. I wish that I was born in, like, 1975 so that I could have gone out and partied with these crazy fucks."
When asked whether she was having a good time, Demanda said: "I dropped acid on a cruise with a bunch of drag queens. I'm living."
14. "I went to the very last one, which happened right when I moved here," Sequinette said.
She's going to perform an act about Dolly Parton's "secret Butch lesbian lifestyle" at Brooklyn's upcoming Dollypalooza, FYI.
15. Rollerina, the Queen of Studio 54, spotted!
16. Seated at the bow, we find Eden Toulouse (left) and JoJo Baby (right).
"I was at the last Wigstock," Eden said.
"It's my first one," JoJo shared. "I came all the way from Chicago."
17. "I was doing Wigstock back in the '90s," Yuval said.
"I used to love Wigstock. It was the best thing."
18. "This is my first Wigstock," Ophelia said. "I'm glad to see a lot of the performers from the documentary in person."
Shoutout to Ophelia for being kind enough to share her fan with me for a moment. It was so hot—and I didn't even have a wig or makeup on. Literally no clue how these ladies did it. Brava.
19. Zazoo (left) and Satori (right) taught me about "queen time."
"The first Wigstock we came to was '95 or '97," Zazoo said.
"I was with him at the time," Satori added.
Zazoo explained the biggest difference between Wigstock: The Cruise and the original, daylong festival: "You can't be late to the cruise because you're on a boat. That's the big difference. The thing is, queen time is usually an hour behind, so it's strange to have to be somewhere exactly on time."
20. "I have been doing Dolly at Wigstock since it started."
21. "You know, this was the Drag Race of the time back then," Peppermint said.
"I've been to a few Wigstocks. I'm very happy that we have this chance to have a reunion. These types of events don't really happen much anymore, so you only get to see all these people online or on Facebook—not all in one room, on one boat. Like, Linda Simpson? All the performers? No, I don't think they've been in the same room or the same place since the last Wigstock."
22. Drew Tandal said his boyfriend made his wig. Keeper!
23. Exiting the boat was a bottlenecking nightmare. But at least I ran into Merrie Cherry!
She's a major player on the Brooklyn drag scene, having founded Dragnet at Metropolitan, the Brooklyn Nightlife Awards, and, like, countless other event series.
Speaking of the 20-minute crawl to the sole way off the boat, I overheard performer Sweetie exclaim: "Let me live! I feel like the last scene of Carrie in this bitch." Let Sweetie live!
• Wigstock, meth, and the conservative gay agenda: An interview with Lady Bunny
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.