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Drag show controversy sparks peaceful protest outside Sauk City bakery

Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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SAUK CITY, Wis. (WMTV) - A show of LGBTQ pride in Sauk City followed local controversy over a drag show.

Protesters met outside the Mixing Bowl Bakery on Water Street Saturday morning. The bakery’s owner Curtis Eberle had written an email last week showing opposition for a drag show planned by a restaurant-brewery across the street.

Eberle told NBC15 he wanted the event canceled and sent a message with the subject line “call to action” to his friends. In the email obtained by NBC15, Eberle directed recipients to the restaurant’s co-owner to “bombard his inbox.”

From inside the bakery Saturday, Eberle said, “The email, everybody saw it, and it wasn’t against any person or group. It was just a show that was geared at 21 plus. It’s no different than if there was a burlesque show.”

The drag show went on as planned, but some in Sauk Prairie’s LGBTQ community said opposition to the event could not be ignored.

“I was upset. I was angry,” Prairie Du Sac resident Amy Burns said. “I think the drag show and the fact that they were being inclusive was amazing.”

“I personally felt affected by the email because I am gay,” lifelong Prairie Du Sac resident Jacob Braxton said. “Just growing up in this small community, I didn’t get a lot of support from people.”

Eberle said he offered cookies to the demonstrators and maintained he was voicing his opinion about an event. “We don’t hate,” he said. “We tell our kids at all the time that hate is a very strong word. That’s not something we believe in doing at all.”

“The outcome? I think we all just left feeling a little bit better,Braxton said. He continued, “This was just a great event for us to take a first step into hopefully inviting more pride and to make people feel more welcome in our town.”

Brittany Kraemer, co-owner of the Vintage Brewing Company, which hosted the private drag show, said that while some people in the community “weren’t ready” for such an event, the majority of people showed their support.

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