An upcoming drag show in Albertville is causing a stir among the local community, with some residents supporting the event while others hope to prevent it from happening.

With a population of just over 22,000, the small city in Marshall County sits about an hour from Huntsville, where the event’s planner, Jessica Turner, said the area’s drag queens would typically have to go if they wanted to perform in a welcoming setting.

Turner’s catering business, Baked and Boozy, is hosting the event on December 8 at Legends, a local restaurant in Albertville. She planned the Holly Jolly Drag Show event to support the area’s LGBTQ+ community, which she said is larger than people might expect.

“I just wanted to bring it to Albertville because we have so many people who are drag queens and support the LGBT community in Albertville, and they all have to go to Huntsville, or they have to go to Birmingham to support their friends and family,” Turner said. “I just wanted the queens that are from here to be able to have the support from their community that they’re supposed to have.”

The event was initially planned with one two-hour performance, but Turner added a second show after selling out of the venue’s original 100 tickets, which are $30 each, according to the event’s webpage.

A portion of the night’s proceeds will go to the Magic City Acceptance Academy, a charter school in Homewood catering to students who identify with the LGBTQ+ lifestyle.

Despite the positive response the event has received, many residents have spoken out against it.

Local former pastor David Kirby and his brother Wesley have been leading an effort to protest against the event.

“My point of view, and I feel like it’s a whole lot of other people’s point of view, that it’s pure perversion, and we don’t want it in our community,” David Kirby said. “... As decent citizens, we just don’t want it.”

The Kirby’s applied for a permit to protest, but the City of Albertville could not give them one since it had no authority over private property. Albertville Mayor Tracy Honea said he received many complaints about the drag show, but there was nothing the city could do about a private event, provided all local laws and ordinances were followed.

The Kirby’s were told they could still hold a protest as long as the property owners did not object. With that in mind, they plan to protest on multiple nights leading up to the event, from December 4-8, beginning at 5 p.m. each night.

A community meeting was held last Friday to discuss the drag show and details of the protest.

“A local business is sponsoring a drag queen event. They’re doing it in the name of Christmas, with a Christmas title, which that alone incorporates the name of Jesus,” Justin Childers, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Albertville, said. “So it would be my understanding that they’re doing this in the name of Christianity, in the name of religion. So that alone should concern us.”

Childers emphasized the protest would be peaceful and that he wanted those involved in the drag show “to be saved.” He encouraged other local churches to “cross denominational lines” and unite for the protest.

“The likelihood of getting this stopped may be slim,” he said. “...But what we can do is what the Bible says to cry aloud and spare not, lift our voice as a trumpet, and let it be known where we stand, and the likelihood of us running it out of town for it never to return will be a lot greater.”

Wesley Kirby told the crowd at the meeting not to bring anything with them to the protest — including signs and pamphlets — except for their Bibles.

“The only thing I’m going to ask you to do is bring your Bible with you because you never know, somebody might want to know what that thing says about this, and you can open it up and show them,” he said.

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