A wig relay. A banana-eating contest. A Crisco-covered egg toss.
”The whole concept of the event was a kind of campy, sort-of off-color field day, a mini-Olympics,” explains Aaron Riggins, about the annual Summer Games in Dupont Circle. The event started in 2008 in Meridian Hill Park, taking inspiration from that year’s Beijing Olympics.
Riggins produces the free event with Shea Van Horn — together, they go by the alias Shearon Van Riggins. This Saturday, Aug. 14, sees the event, part of Riggins’s monthly summertime series Saturgays in the Park, return to Dupont Circle. As opposed to Meridian Hill, Riggins say Dupont ”seemed a little bit more guerrilla,” with more street traffic and passersby.
Van Horn will officiate the event under his popular drag alter-ego Summer Camp. ”We try to keep things appropriate for an afternoon on a Saturday in a public space,” says Van Horn. ”But it still gets a little dirty.”
And messy. For a game of fencing, for example, ”we take a washable marker and duct-tape it to the end of a wooden dowel,” Van Horn explains. The goal is to get as much ink on the opposing team members’ white T-shirts, but no one stops there.
”In the end you have six people that are just covered in marker,” he says.
In all, there will be about six or seven different events, plus an opening ceremony that will involve a ”lighting of the torch” and a closing awards ceremony. Riggins expects a hundred or more people at the games, wearing their classical Olympic finest: ”We encourage everyone to wear togas for this event.”
Summer Games is Saturday, Aug. 14, starting at 2:30 p.m., western side of Dupont Circle. Visit tiny.cc/k8bwn for more information.