“Night of The Walking Red VII” Oct. 8 at Ryan’s Wake Public House, Troy, N.Y.

Hundreds of naturally red-haired people will assemble in upstate New York next week for an annual meeting and toast.

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, starting at 5 p.m., The League of Extraordinary Red Heads will present “Night of the Walking Red VII” at Ryan’s Wake Public House, overlooking the Hudson River at 403 River St. in downtown Troy.

“Red heads are really hot in pop culture these days, thanks in part to a rising number of prominent red haired celebrities, like naturally-ginger actors Kristofer Hivju and Rose Leslie, who played standout characters on the HBO Game of Thrones series,” said Duncan Crary, founder of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads. “But natural red heads are still a highly visible, and very small minority. We have a unique life experience and it’s fun to spend one night socialzing with others who share that.”

Photo by Neil Grabowsky

The fiery festivities feature an autumnal rite known as the “Toast of The Coppertops,” during which members of the red-haired collective raise a glass. Looming above them will be a 15-foot vinyl sign bearing the League’s registered trademark logo and the concisely stated: “Agenda 1) Us. 2) Them.”

There will be a sunset group photograph on the deck at 6:15 p.m. Entertainment will include live-fire performers (because “Gingers are kissed by fire!”), endless antics, like naughty ginger bathroom signs, and a photo booth with red wigs for unlucky brunettes and blondes.

Admission is free. Children are welcome with supervision. The League gives special recognition to “Distinguished White Heads,” such as Santa Claus, whose ginger hair has turned white. Un-red heads are also welcome to witness the crimson jubilee.

Last October, about 200 red-haired folks came to the party, traveling from as far away neighboring states.

Group Photo, League of Extraordinary Red Heads 2017
Photo by Neil Grabowsky

“This is a rare spectacle that many of us look forward to all year,” Crary said. “I’ve made some great friends through these gatherings over the years. Some parents have brought their red-headed munchkins to each League meeting and one of my favorite things is to watch them grow up. Some day, when all my red has faded, one of them will have to lead this tribe.”


The League of Extraordinary Red Heads formed in a flash in Troy on Jan. 30, 2013 and quickly earned the rank of No. 7 in the world for “Best Redheaded Gatherings of 2013” according to social media website, BuzzFeed.  League gatherings typically attract more than 100 red-haired participants. Attendance in previous years has exceeded 250 red heads. (All are welcome to attend and enjoy the spectacle.)

Though this highly visible group assembles suddenly in public spaces, not much is known of the inner workings or its true purpose. It purports to be “a social get-together for those with reddish hair and those who love them,” but some suspect it may be a drinking club with vague plans for world domination. These conspiracy theories are bolstered by the fact that redheads comprise only 2 percent of the human population, and yet — for scientifically unexplained reasons — their ranks include a disproportionately high number of prominent figures, including world leaders, famous authors, and celebrity actors. People of all types and backgrounds can have natural red hair.

Duncan Crary and Anasha Cummings
Photo provided.

“Because we always stand out, redheads can never hide in a crowd or at the back of the classroom,” Crary said.  “So we learn to have fun under scrutiny. Some people call that being ‘fiery,’ and we do tend to be an excitable bunch. That may be the reason why so many prominent figures in history have had crimson locks.”

First-time attendees are eligible to receive the coveted League of Extraordinary Red Heads “Member” card.

Those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP on the facebook event so organizers can better prepare for the expected crowd.

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