Daytime Realness was still in the midst of its November-to-March hiatus when the pandemic hit last winter. So now, for the first time in 21 months, this popular queer party at El Rio is returning on Sunday with its first ever pre-sale tickets.

The party — named for the type of drag one needs to do to look good in broad daylight, i.e. daytime realness — first kicked off as a third-Sunday affair on the El Rio patio back in 2011. A decade ago! And even though two of its three hosts, Heklina and Stanley Frank, have moved to other cities in the ensuing decade, they still come back for Sunday Fundays once a month, with a mix of DJ sets and drag performances that go from afternoon into early evening. (Co-host DJ Carnita, a.k.a. Tom Temprano, has graduated from party promoter to SF political figure, City College Board vice president, and full-time legislative aide to Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, but he's still part of this crew.)

"We can't wait to party on the patio with you! It's been too long..." Heklina writes on Facebook.

The line outside on Mission Street is an inevitability, but in an effort to manage the crowd and keep the bar staff comfortable, Daytime Realness is coming back from its long slumber with a ticketholder line, and a non-ticketholder line — the latter of which may see some delays in getting inside.

"We are holding capacity at a lower number than usual out of respect for the bar staff and their comfort level," Temprano explains.

What that means is that while some $15 tickets will be sold at the door, they're only selling as many as they have spaces left after the pre-sales that sold out last month — and another batch sold out quickly earlier this week. After 5:30 p.m., however, they'll start letting in more people, and anyone with a ticket who shows up thereafter will have to wait in the regular line.

As always, the drag shows will happen every hour on the half-hour, and performers at this triumphant return party include Miss Rahni NothingMORE, Qween, and Monistat. DJ Brown Amy from Hard French and Vin Sol from Club Lonely will be spinning as well.

The last time anyone danced on the patio at a Daytime Realness party was in October 2019 — and the last time we saw the Daytime Realness crew was a virtual "Quaran-tea" dance on Twitch last November.

Doors open at 2, so get there early if you're going.