On Sunday, the Rosedale Center, a shopping mall in Roseville, Minnesota, that reputedly welcomes 12 million visitors a year, hosted an event for the public that its director of marketing and experience enthused about having, saying, “It’s becoming such a thing, we realized these are going to be everywhere.”
A drag show.
As twincities.com reports, Sarah Fossen, Rosedale’s director of marketing and experience, visited several drag brunches, then contacted the founder of the production company Flip Phone, Chad Kampe, who has made it a mission to spread drag into public places such as libraries and rooftop bars.
Fossen gushed, “The brunches are the hottest ticket in town. It’s becoming such a thing, we realized these are going to be everywhere. We wanted to be the first to market before everyone else realizes the huge audiences these attract … Chad came up with the theme, a throwback to the ’80s. Growing up, a lot of us saw New Kids on the Block and Tiffany and Debbie Gibson playing in malls. This is a nod to that kind of excitement, when you could see your favorite stars at the mall.”
The event was titled “Shop Till You Drag: A Mall Drag Show.” Twincities.com noted:
Hosted by “Queer Eye” vet Carson Kressley, the Shop Till You Drag lineup is packed with drag stars who’ve competed on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” including Trinity Taylor, Monique Heart, Blair St. Clair, Peppermint and two locals, Mercedes Iman Diamond (who appeared on Season 11, which is currently airing on VH1) and BeBe Zahara Benet (winner of the inaugural season of “Drag Race” back in 2009).
The mall was planning to supply a runway and seating for roughly 500 people. Fossen said to twincities.com, “We’re putting seats through the first level and the top tier of the second level. We’re using every piece of room we can find in the East Court … There may be areas to stand, but we don’t want to promise anything because we won’t know the space until it’s all set up.”
Fossen brushed off public criticism of the event, saying, “But for every one who has been negative about it, we’ve gotten 100 people who were excited we were doing this. We do listen to the feedback and appreciate that people take the time to reach out. Again, in reality, people are really happy the mall is inclusive and that we’re doing such fun and relevant things.”
Kampe said, “The State Fair is what I’m trying to tackle next. That would be such an ideal destination because I love the Fair so much. I think the Minnesota Zoo would be fun. I also think it would be fun to start going to more small towns and giving the opportunity to everybody in the state to see good, quality drag.”