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Elora drag queen show organizers hopeful for conflict free night despite online pushback

Poster for an upcoming drag show in Elora. (Submitted: Elora Distilling Company) Poster for an upcoming drag show in Elora. (Submitted: Elora Distilling Company)
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A drag queen show in Elora will continue Saturday night as planned, despite organizers saying concerns were raised after online comments targeted the event.

The Elora Distilling Company is hosting and organizing the show called "Winter's a Drag”, but organizers say they aren't expecting any protestors, and have turned down an offer from police to attend the event out of caution.

“It is a little bit sad that we’re talking about this in 2023,” Mark Anderson, owner of Elora Distilling Company said. “I grew up through the 80s and 90s when it was a different time, and I think a lot of us thought we were kind of past that, but it turns out there are still some people out there.”

After it was announced online earlier this month, the company’s Facebook page was inundated with what they describe as hateful and threatening comments.

Once word spread about the online reaction, organizers said the support from the community has been overwhelming.

Since then, they said they haven't received any more concerning messages and said they feel comfortable going ahead with tonight's show without having officers on scene.

“As soon as we started making a little bit [of] public awareness and having some media exposure, we had a huge upwelling of support from our community and lots of positive feedback through social media. We sold out the event almost immediately,” said Anderson.

Despite the optimism for a positive and conflict-free event, organizers said they will not hesitate to reach out to police if they feel it is necessary.

Before the performance began, a few protestors showed up outside the business to voice their concerns with a drag queen show.

“Cross-dressing is something that is prohibited in the bible, and so we are just voicing our concerns for the way things are going in our country,” one protestors told CTV News.

At least one counter-protestor showed up.

“I wanted to come here and say: 'come on, you protestors, live and let live. What is your problem however anybody wants to dress?’” the counter-protestors told CTV News.

The protesters took off before performances began, and the show continued on without a hitch.

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