Dowagiac business group to host holiday drag brunch event

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, November 16, 2022

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DOWAGIAC — Fans of drag queen performances can look forward to an afternoon event at a local restaurant.

The Stay Dowagiac Collective is gearing up for its Drag Me To Oak + Ash event from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at Oak and Ash BBQ, 109 S. Front St.

The holiday brunch event for ages 21-and-up will feature four of Chicago’s finest drag entertainers — O’laysia, Boy J, Khloé Coulee, and host Kimberly Summer as well as custom goodies from The Baker’s Rhapsody.

The event is being put on by the Stay Dowagiac Collective. Comprised of the owners of distinctive short-term rentals 1870 House (Zena Burns and Richard Jackson), The Altus Apartment (Lyons and Cathy McBride) and The Hatch Street Manor (Lathan), Stay Dowagiac aims to support the community and bring visibility to the many noteworthy and excellent things there are to do in the Dowagiac area. 

“Dowagiac has a history of being friendly to the arts, and drag is definitely a form of art. Many people we’ve spoken to are happy to have a quality drag show here in town without needing to go to Saugatuck or Chicago,” said Desmond Lathan, Hatch Street Manor owner and Stay Dowagiac Collective member. “Plus, the city of Dowagiac and our Stay Dowagiac collective are welcoming and inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. When we had the opportunity to bring some of Chicago’s finest drag entertainers in for a fun holiday event, we jumped at the chance.”

In addition, the event will raise funds for OutCenter of Southwest Michigan, a non-profit whose mission is to provide LGBTQ+ people and their families with the services and support they need to feel safe and comfortable in their communities, while also working with local and state-wide groups to establish respect and understanding of LGBTQ+ people and bring equality home to Southwest Michigan.

Tickets include a brunch buffet, two drink tickets, and admission to the show. They cost $50 and must be purchased in advance of the event. Tickets can be purchased at

“Cathy and I started getting involved with OutCenter of Southwest Michigan in Benton Harbor last year. That really opened our eyes to how large the LGBTQ+ community is here in Southwest Michigan, and how underserved it is,” Lyons said. “The Stay Dowagiac team felt that a 21-and-up drag show with this high caliber of talent would be a fun event for the LGBTQ+ community and allies, and also call attention to OutCenter’s great work in the region.”