BY MIA ARCINEGAS / DAGLIGTALE STAFF WRITER
On February 28th, the 7th annual “So You Think You Can Drag” show was held at the Bailey Theatre here in Camrose. It was part of the series of events that made up pride week at Augustana. This was my 2nd time attending this show, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much it has evolved over time. When I was tasked to write about this I was already planning on going, so it was very exciting for me. The scale, the audience, the venue, and the performances were on a different level compared to the last time I attended.
Normally, I always jot down notes I can refer to later on when I decide to sit down and write, but this time it was completely different. There was so much going on, I felt as if I would miss something if I looked away for a moment. It seemed like everyone in the theatre was just as engaged as I was, because there was never a dull moment. The hosts were splendid, and the audience was reciprocating the uplifting energy they were giving out.
The performances were all fabulous, and I was happy to see how much diversity there was among the performers. The audience welcomed all of them warmly, and I can only imagine how nerve-wracking it must be to get dressed up, or down, in front of a crowd of strangers; naturally, I am in awe of anyone who has the confidence to get up on stage and execute routines they likely rehearsed over and over. The outfits, the lip-syncing, the dancing, the planning, and attention to detail are aspects I have always found so fascinating about drag. Seeing the lineup of performers proved how far drag has come as a whole.
With how well the event was organized, I forgot where I was for those 3 hours. I forgot I was in Camrose. This event is one of the fruits of many years of collaborative work between Augustana and the Camrose Pride Community. Thanks to the meticulous planning of those involved, we can attend a drag show in Camrose, thanks to them we do not have to venture to Edmonton to seek a like-minded gathering of people. We would not be celebrating pride in Camrose at this scale, if it wasn’t for the people at our university and community members.
Being fortunate enough to attend a drag night in this fairly small community, and looking forward to it every year is a symbol of growth in itself. For older generations, it is a sign that the right steps have been taken throughout the years, and younger generations of people living in Camrose won’t have to imagine what pride events are like, because they can attend them here. Needless to say, It was the best way to spend my last Friday night of the month. If you have never been to a drag show before, I hope reading this will inspire you to go to one in the future.