They came, they ran, they glittered.
Thousands filled the streets of Hollywood on Sunday morning for the inaugural Glitter Run, a fun event to celebrate the power and beauty of diversity during a politically divisive time in our nation.
“We are thousands of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and ages and races, from all walks-of-life,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean to the participants, shortly before the start of the run/walk on Hollywood Boulevard.
“We have learned through decades of our LGBT movement that the most effective way to overcome the hateful forces is to persevere and to have fun while we’re doing it,” Jean added. “To laugh, to love, to camp it up. And that’s what we’re doing today with seven colors of glitter.”
The 7-color 5K fun run/walk traveled a scenic route along Hollywood Blvd. and neighboring streets and was made possible by the full support of Los Angeles City Coubcilman Mitch O'Farrell whose district the course ran through.
Along the course, participants passed through seven glitter stations where they were sprinkled with different colors of non-toxic washable glitter.
“We are not only in the first Glitter Run but we are the first people in it from Tahiti!,” participant Nancy Wane excitedly said after the run. “It was awesome to be covered with glitter. It’s awesome. It’s not raining, It’s glittering!”
Runner Barrett Crake wasn’t quite satisfied with the amount of glitter being sprayed on his body at the glitter stations so when he got to the pink glitter station, he took matters into his own hands.
“I did a snow angel in the pink,” he explained. “I just laid on the ground and did it.”
Mission accomplished. Crake’s back was still almost completely pink – and quite sparkly – as he stood in line to get into the dance party.
“It was really fun to get sprayed in all the colors of the rainbow–ending with pink which Barrett rolled in,” said Crake’s friend Danny Lockwood. “We support the Center and we’re here to support diversity.”
Runner Marc Locascio wore nothing but a pair of small white shorts to make room for glitter all over his body.
“It was awesome, I loved it,” he said as he entered the post-run dance party. “It was kind of easy as a run, but it was exciting and exhilarating. The energy was just great. At every glitter booth everyone was so happy and you feel like you can be who you want to be. I love being covered with glitter.”
Before the run began, Broadway star Shoshanna Bean performed the Cyndi Lauper hit True Colors which has become something of an LGBT anthem over the years.
“This is amazing,” Bean said. “Years from now, when they are doing these across the country, you will be able to say, ‘I was there first.’”
US Congressman Jimmy Gomez told the runners they had gathered together at a perfect time to celebrate of the power and beauty of diversity given the recent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“This is the kind of event that we want people to see across the country,” Gomez said. ”It’s not about Charlottesville … it’s about the diversity and the faces of this crowd. That’s what we’re here celebrating: all of you.”
Drag personality Manila Luzon, runner-up during season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race, ended the pre-race festivities with a hilarious operatic lip sync of Glitter and Be Gay from the operetta Candide. As she “sang” Luzon gradually covered several scantily clad guys and girls on stage with glitter then playfully shoved them off the steps of the stage and on their way to the run.
After completing the run, participants collected their medals and made their way into the Dazzling Dance Party where they enjoyed complimentary cocktails designed by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
Still glittery bodies took to a dance floor where Joe Gauthreaux, one of the nation’s most celebrated D.J.s, provided a totally immersive musical experience. DJ Woody Woodbeck opened the party.
The Glitter Run was created and produced by MZA Events. It was sponsored by Macys, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Hornburger Jaguar and Land Rover and the Los Angeles Chargers.