Organizers say record-setting drag queen storytime reading kicks off Pride Month in Philadelphia


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Organizers of a storied drag queen reading at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia say several hundred people helped set a world record attendance for such an event to kick off Pride Month celebrations in the birthplace of America.

Saturday’s event, hosted by Philadelphia Gay News and sponsored by Visit Philadelphia, saw Philadelphia performers read children’s stories to 263 people, which organizers said was the first Guinness World Record in the category.

Performers read to an audience of adults and children from “Hello, Philadelphia!” by Martha Day Zschock, “Twas the Night Before Pride” by Joanna McClintick, “Elmer” by David Mckee, “The Family Book” by Todd Parr and “Kevin the Unicorn: It’s Not All Rainbows” by Jessika von Innerebner, organizers said .

Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News, said in a statement that “creating history-making moments like we did today, hosted on ground synonymous with our country’s fight for fundamental rights and freedom, serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience, talent and culture that make up the fabric of our great American city.”

People read and…

A message was sent earlier to Guinness representatives seeking comment. The Guinness website has a story from June 2023 about a record for most people attending a drag brunch with 412 attendees in Brooklyn, New York.

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