RuPaul's DragCon Hits New York City for First Time
RuPaul and World of Wonder Productions ("RuPaul's Drag Race," "Million Dollar Listing", "Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,") - winners of three Emmys at this weekend's Creative Arts Emmys for RuPaul's Drag Race, including a second consecutive Outstanding Host win for RuPaul - welcomed a sold out crowd of more than 35,000 attendees to the first ever RuPaul's DragCon NYC on Sept. 9-10 at Manhattan's Jacob K. Javits Center.
Created by RuPaul and World of Wonder Productions, RuPaul's DragCon is the world's largest all-ages and family friendly celebration of drag culture. This weekend, fans had the chance to meet their favorite drag queens from the TV phenomenon "RuPaul's Drag Race," hear from their favorite celebrities, fashion designers and performers, and access exclusive shopping and merchandise opportunities. RuPaul kicked off the event with a rousing speech before he was joined by ?10-year-old drag star and featured guest, Desmond is Amazing, for the ribbon cutting.
"My queens: we are all ambassadors to these young, gorgeous kids who are going to walk through this building today and tomorrow," RuPaul said. "With what's happening politically and socially, they are the promise of America's future. And that's why DragCon is so important."
"New York gave us such a rousing welcome," exclaimed World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. "The insistence, resistance and persistence of all who came was a shot of inspiration needed now more than ever. We cannot wait to return next year in the benevolent shadow of the greatest drag queen of them all - Lady Liberty."
DragCon's expansion to the east coast follows three successful years in Los Angeles, a ground-breaking eight Emmy nominations for "RuPaul's Drag Race" and its after show "RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked," and a current political climate that makes it more important than ever to highlight diversity and inclusivity from coast to coast.
RuPaul's DragCon NYC welcomed celebrities and personalities who participated in panels, performances, meet and greets and more including:
Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi, Lizzo, Michelle Visage ("RuPaul's Drag Race"), Nico Tortorella ("Younger," "Menendez: Blood Brothers"), Carson Kressley ("RuPaul's Drag Race"), Big Freedia, Sheryl Lee Ralph ("Dreamgirls" on Broadway), TS Madison, World of Wonder co-founders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, and author and legendary personal shopper Betty Halbreich, and NYC night-life legends Michael Musto, Mickey Boardman, Kenny Kenny, and Linda Simpson.
Drag Race royalty including Sasha Velour, Bob The Drag Queen, Violet Chachki, Chad Michaels, Trixie Mattel (star of Viceland's The Trixie & Katya Show, premiering November 1), Detox, Shangela, Kim Chi, Ongina, Peppermint, Milk, Aja, Ginger Minj and many more.
Social media and Youtube stars including Connor Franta, Manny Mua, Jeffree Star, Laura Lee, Joanne The Scammer, and TODRICK Hall.
More than 35,000 attendees explored the floor, which showcased 177 vendors and exhibitors, musical performances, exclusive NYC-themed merchandise at the World of Wonder booth, and more.
53 past contestants from "RuPaul's Drag Race" attended DragCon NYC to meet with their fans from around the world.
A fabulous surprise wedding! To the delight of enthusiastic fans, Ginger Minj married her fiance CJ on stage after her panel "Ginger Minj Makes Over Lactatia." Michelle Visage officiated, with Lactacia serving as the flower girl.
"The Runway" stage, presented by World of Wonder, hosted numerous performances and competitions. Highlights included an electric performance by recording artist Lizzo and the Queen Diva herself, Big Freedia (star of the hit show Big Freedia Bounces Back, returning September 12), entering the convention with the New Orleans second line band before hosting the "Big Freedia Twerk Off."
Sheryl Lee Ralph introduced a preview performance by the cast of Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, which hits Broadway in 2018.
Exhibitors included non-profits such as Human Rights Campaign, Planned PARENTHOOD of New York City, New York Civil Liberties Union, and sponsors VH1, GLAAD, and Jeffree Star Cosmetics.
RuPaul's DragCon LA will return to Los Angeles on May 11-13, 2018. Badges and VIP Packages for the Los Angeles convention will go on sale in November at RuPaulsDragCon.com. RuPaul's DragCon NYC will return to New York in 2018, with dates to be announced.<
For more information on RuPaul's DragCon NYC and a full list of exhibitors, programming and merchandise, please visit: RuPaulsDragCon.com.