This drag competition is a regular part of the IAGSDC convention. Each year's competition is organized by the reigning Honky Tonk Queen. There is no standard format; no rhyme or reason as to how the event is produced, or how the choice of the new Queen is made. While the participants are almost always drag queens, occasionally contestants include a woman dressed as ... something.
The audience are expected to spot previous Honky Tonk Queen recipients when they appear, and must greet them with cheers of "Old Queen, Old Queen". Otherwise, there are few rules. Generally, the judges evaluate contestants on deportment, personality, dress sense and talent. Most years they find none of these qualities in any contestant, so pick the winner by rolling dice.
The competition was inspired by an an old country and western song "Honky Tonk Queen" recorded by two internationally famous callers, Paul Marcum and Elmer Sheffield. Both these callers were at the first IAGSDC convention in Seattle.
For information about the winners of past competitions, see the IAGSDC History Project.