Drag Show to uphold over 20-year-old Mankato tradition

For over 20 years, the Minnesota State University, Mankato Drag Show has been an annual staple in the area. Put on by the Jim Chalgren LGBT Center and the Students Events Team, this year’s drag show will take place this Saturday at 7 p.m. featuring eight performers in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

“This has been a super exciting process for me getting to meet with the drag queens and drag king,” said Atlas James, student events team education board member and the person in charge of organizing the upcoming drag show.

The purpose of the drag show is to provide both support and education on the transgender and drag communities. This upcoming drag show will include giving away free makeup and other items to help support drag performers in need.

One important aspect of the MSU Mankato drag show is that it predominantly features local talent.

“For the show we try to keep it close to Mankato, so a lot of our people we are bringing are from Mankato or Minneapolis. So we pulled in people from Minnesota because that is the talent we want to show off,” said James.

Miss Ava Cado, played by MSU Mankato alumni Alec Otto, will be one of the performers at this year’s show, “She’s a fancy old lady, like a fun wine aunt who’s having too much fun at the family gathering. She’s the aunt who sings too much karaoke,” said Otto. “She’s a flirty lounge singer, that’s her whole thing.”

Another performer for this year’s show will be Princess Bluerose, who is played by Stephen Thomas who is an admissions officer for MSU. Thomas got into drag to support his brother when his brother was just starting to do drag.

“I got into drag because of my brother and his fear of doing things by himself,” said Thomas. “We went on the stage and it just stuck from there. The first number was just phenomenal and I knew I was going to do this for the rest of my life.”

Trading cards of individual drag performers will be available for students to pick up at the LGBT Center and the Students Events Team office. Those who collect all of the trading cards will get VIP seating at the drag show. There will be opportunities after the show for audience members to meet the drag performers and take photos and get autographs. Tickets can be found online with prices for students being $3 and for the public $10.

The modern iteration of the MSU Mankato drag show can be traced back to the “Come as you are” Drag Ball that was first put on in March 2001. In years past, tickets have often sold out in advance.

Header Photo: MSU’s annual drag show has been a tradition for decades. This year there will be eight featured drag queens performing at this year’s show. (File photo/The Reporter)

Write to Jeremy Redlien at Jeremy.Redlien@msnu.edu

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