The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

UWEC hosts 13th Fireball drag show

Performers from the Eau Claire area and greater country perform on one stage
Photo by Cade Fisher
Fireball had over 700 seats in the Ojibwe Ballroom and a new diagonal stage for performers, compared to a straight stage in past years.

On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-24, the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, or GSRC, put on their 13th annual Fireball

Fireball is a drag show, bringing 10 performers on stage in Davies Student Center for students, staff and the greater community to enjoy. This year’s show theme was rage as drag queens and kings gave performances on stage, earning tips and applause.

UW-Eau Claire welcomed drag queens and kings onto the stage, each giving a performance that included an average of 2-5 songs. The performers entertained the audience across the stage with different dances, costume changes and lip synching.

According to Emily Luebke, the Student Services Coordinator for the GSRC, each night of Fireball had different performances, including the queens and kings having different songs they performed to as well as new media in between each performer.

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The order for the night included three sets, the first having performers Tenderoni, Julia Starr, Kenya Sanchez, King Phantom and Aphrodite grace the stage. Each performer entertained across the stage, some even entering the crowd.

Before the second set, all of the local queens and kings in the audience were invited on stage to perform as well. A joint performance occurred between a dozen performers.

“It really is just a celebration of queerness and just making it know that we are here and we’re not going anywhere,” Luebke said. 

The second set of the night had performers Diablo, Taylor Ashton, Felicia Ashton, Khloe Wold and Amber Hudson, all local queens and kings that can be seen performing around northwest Wisconsin.

The third and final set included the same performers from the first set, with different costumes, themes and songs. 

In between each performance, there were informational videos of students and staff sharing their stories and celebrating queer joy and informational videos on the current political climate. 

In between each set, queens Khloe Wold and Coco Latté entered the stage to give updates to the crowd and moderate interactive portions. 

In between sets, two audience members were brought on stage for a lip-sync battle. All of the proceeds they gathered were donated to the Campus Harvest Food Pantry. In total, they raised $7,000 for the pantry. 

There also were tables in the lobby raising funds for specific fundraisers like the campus pantry and queer prom, an inclusive prom for high schoolers.

According to the university website, Fireball raises money for the GSRC and events around the campus. All of the funds have helped support events like the Eau Claire Film Festival, the Civil Rights Pilgrimage, MBLGTACC and queer prom. 

The queens and kings who attended the event were able to be tipped as well. Patrons could go up to the stage and hand performers tips or give them to volunteers who were moving throughout the audience with collection buckets. Volunteers also helped pick up money off the stage that performers left to continue performing.

At the end of the event, all of the performers were welcomed back on stage for final bows and the audience was invited to join an afterparty in the Dakota Ballroom to meet the queens and kings and check out different organizations that were tabling.

“It is a drag show and it is an event to celebrate queer people and our students here on campus, but we also try to make it very intentional and very political,” Luebke said. “It’s really important you stand up for us not just at these events but everywhere on campus or in the community.”

To see more from Fireball check out our multimedia story or go to their website to see previous performances.

Fisher can be reached at [email protected]. 

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