Organizers say record-setting drag queen story time reading kicks off Philadelphia Pride Month

The event, hosted by the Philadelphia Gay News and sponsored by Visit Philadelphia, saw Philadelphia drag performers reading children’s stories to 263 people, which organizers said was a first-ever Guinness World Record for such an event.

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

The event Saturday, hosted by the Philadelphia Gay News and sponsored by Visit Philadelphia, saw Philadelphia drag performers reading children’s stories to 263 people, which organizers said was a first-ever 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 Philadelphia Gay News, said in a statement that “creating history-making moments like we’ve done today, hosted on land synonymous with our country’s fight for fundamental rights and freedom, serves as a powerful reminder of the resiliency, talent and culture that make up the fabric of our great American city.”

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