Despite calls for protests and online threats, the Holly Jolly Drag Show in Albertville occurred without incident Friday night as over 200 people turned out for the event.
Police and security teams patrolled the parking lot as a line formed in front of Legends of Albertville beginning around 7 p.m. Each patron was scanned with a handheld metal detector and had their ID checked before going inside.
Albertville Police Chief J.T. "Butch" Cartee told 1819 News the night, which went past midnight, was mostly quiet except for four people he had to ask to leave as they attempted to protest.
Local faith leaders David Kirby and Antioch Baptist Church pastor Justin Childers had planned an official protest of the event but decided to cancel after the owners of the Crossroads Mall where the event was taking place told police to trespass any protestors.
Instead, Kirby encouraged local churches to hold prayer meetings on the night of the event. He said over 30 churches made plans to do so.
"The reports received from two of the churches were that there was a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit during the prayer meeting," Kirby told 1819 News. "One of those I attended. I haven't been in contact with any of the others."
The organizer of the drag show, Jessica Turner, who was nervous about security issues and possible protests, said the event went even better than expected.
"We stood toe to toe with the Catholics, The baptist and many other organizations but we stood still and look at god!" she said in a Facebook post about the event. "Exodus 14: 'The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.' Last night was so much more phenomenal than I ever could have imagined!! Thank you all for a fun and safe show!!!!"
@thewicklessmom Girls night at the Holly Jolly Drag Show!!! @Whitney Horton921 @Mitchell Horzempa #christmas #dragqueen #dragshow #girlsnight ♬ I’m The Shit - Sexyy Red
Turner also praised the diversity of the crowd, which she said included pastors.
"It was nothing but love and respect amongst others and baby if that ain't what Jesus is talking about I don't want to hear it!!" she said.
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