Add a little glitz and glam – it is, after all, a gay rodeo. In addition to the best in gay rodeo competition the world has to offer, the World Gay Rodeo Finals® also includes a full schedule all weekend long of colorful, lively, and fantastically entertaining Royalty as part of the annual IGRA Royalty Competition. So, what is Royalty exactly? Please read on.
If you’re unfamiliar, in short, Royalty at the gay rodeo is similar to mainstream rodeos where rodeo queens are dubbed Royalty. At the gay rodeo, there are a few levels of royalty beginning at the local rodeo chapter level and progressing to exalted status at the International Gay Rodeo Association, the sanctioning body for gay rodeo nationwide. Royalty titles include Mr. (a cowboy with a sash); Miss (a female impersonator in drag); Ms. (a cowgirl with a sash); and MsTer (a male impersonator). Of course, there’s much more to this and it’s all a great deal of fun.
This year at the World Gay Rodeo Finals®, competition will be fierce for the coveted royalty titles of Mr. IGRA, Miss IGRA, Ms. IGRA, and MsTer IGRA. Tré Brewbaker, reigning Mr. NMGRA (New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association), said sixteen candidates from nearly every gay rodeo association in the nation will be on hand to compete for the top honor of being crowned Mr., Miss, Ms., or MsTer IGRA 2018.
The excitement begins Friday, October 20 th , when Donnie Lee Strickland takes to the stage at Sidewinder’s Bar in Albuquerque from 6 – 6:30PM performing in his signature style as a leading country-western vocalist. Opening ceremonies for the Finals Rodeo follow 6:30 – 7:30PM. Among the highlights will be a native American ceremony – something not to be missed according to Miss New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association, Marie Antoinette Du Barry. Finally, live IGRA Royalty competition follows at 7:30PM until last call. Expect to see drag at its best in style, talent, humor, and more. It’s sure to be a scream!
Saturday’s schedule includes gay rodeo at its very beast 8am to 5pm at the Expo New Mexico Indoor Horse Arena in Albuquerque. Solemn moments during Grand Entry (the half- time ceremonial interlude) include a posting of colors tribute to our nation where gay rodeo exists peacefully among all other athletics; and a brief but always stirring memorial to departed colleagues. Other entertainment planned Saturday at the Expo New Mexico rodeo grounds will include additional performances by Donnie Lee Strickland, the Austin Baptist Women, as well as a host of local performers.
Saturday night activities at Sidewinders will include Royalty crowing of the top contestants from Friday’s competition as they assume their titles and roles for the 2018 gay rodeo season. Included also will be Royalty step-down from 2017, Ten-Year Anniversary recognition, and a fund-raising event. Sunday will be the second and concluding day of competition at the World Gay Rodeo Finals® (8am – 5pm). The outside entertainment program will be similar to Saturday’s, with Donnie Lee Strickland performing, the Austin Baptist Women, IGRA Royalty in all their finest, as well as local performers - all at Expo.
Sunday’s highlight will be the World Gay Rodeo Finals® awards banquet and ceremony, 7PM to Midnight in the Anasazi Ballroom at the Sheraton at Albuquerque International Airport. Live music and dancing provided by Donnie Lee Strickland and company. If you’re a fan of rodeo, if you like cowboys or queens, if you love pageantry, live performances, outstanding country-western music and dancing, there’s something for you at the World Gay Rodeo Finals®, October 20-22, 2017. In the words of Marie Antionette Du Barry: “Come for the competition. Stay for the fun.” Learn more at www.igra-wgrf.com.