Kristi Waters becomes first drag performer to vie for role of San Antonio River Walk Queen

Waters said she would use her place on the Royal Court to foster an inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQIA+ events throughout the city.

click to enlarge Kristi Waters performs at Paramour at the Phipps. - Courtesy Photo / Paramour
Courtesy Photo / Paramour
Kristi Waters performs at Paramour at the Phipps.
Alamo City drag icon Kristi Waters has become the first such performer to compete for the title of San Antonio River Walk Queen.

Waters — who's won Best Drag Queen in the Current's Best of San Antonio listings three years running — said in an emailed statement that she's seeking a spot on the River Walk Royal Court to inspire members of the LGBTQ+ community to be "visible and resilient in the face of adversity."

“I’m honored to be representing the LGBTQIA+ community, as I am the very first drag queen to run for River Walk Queen,” Waters added.

A former Corpus Christi schoolteacher, Waters is among the city's highest-profile drag performers. Waters serves as general manager and entertainment director for Paramour at the Phipps, a river-facing cocktail spot know for its weekly drag brunch. She's also known for comedic one-woman shows including Santa, I Can Explain!

Last year, Waters served as the inaugural grand marshal of San Antonio's Bud Light Pride River Parade and Celebration. During this year's Pride festivities, Mayor Ron Nirenberg presented her with an official commendation for work representing San Antonio's LGBTQ+ community.

Members of the the River Walk Royal Court, a tradition that began in 1987, serve as ambassadors for the San Antonio River Walk. Candidates raise money for local hospitality and architectural-preservation scholarships to vie for their royal titles, according to the court's website.

Like the four other current contenders forRiver Walk Queen, Waters will have eight months to fundraise.

In her statement, Waters said she would use her place on the court to foster an inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQIA+ events throughout the city, including an emphasis on those held on River Walk itself.

"She envisions a future where diversity and acceptance are celebrated along the iconic San Antonio River, creating a welcoming space for people from all walks of life," the statement added.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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