When you’re 10 mimosas deep and shoulder-to-shoulder with around the same number of people you are “pretty sure” you have blocked, every drag brunch feels like it could theoretically be the largest one in the world. However, last weekend, some Denver drag performers actually pulled that off, setting a new record for the world’s most well-attended drag brunch.
The brunch was part of a larger three-day event called Denver Drag Days that was produced by nine Colorado LGBTQ bars and some local drag artists. Drag Days featured panels and workshops on topics like drag history, drag as a business, and social media, alongside a long list of drag performances including a Latinx takeover, a New Kings on the Block performance, and even an all-ages show.
However, it was the last day of the three-day affair that truly made herstory. On March 31 at Tracks Nightclub/EXDO Events Center, the Guinness World Record for largest drag brunch was officially broken when a whopping 338 people attended Drag Days’ Sunday morning brunch.
There wasn’t an official adjudicator from Guinness in attendance, but organizers say the evidence has been received by Guinness—and that now, they’re just waiting on the official certificate. Volunteers collected both tally and video evidence to confirm the record-high number of attendees.
Jessica L’Whor, a well-known Denver drag queen who co-produced the Drag Days weekend and co-hosted the record-breaking brunch, tells NewNowNext that the success of the event is a direct reflection of the Denver drag community and their intention for events like Drag Days.
“This really showcased what we were trying to do for the whole weekend,” she adds. “Under one roof, it was like Denver was able to put aside any differences they have and showcase their love for drag.”
Sara Grossman, a spokesperson for Tracks nightclub and co-founder of LGBTQ marketing firm CODE-mktg, also tells NewNowNext that the atmosphere at Sunday’s drag brunch was unimaginable.
“The vibe was incredible,” she recalls. “To have over 300 people out for a drag brunch, wanting to participate in setting the world record here in Denver, was astounding.”
The huge turnout wasn’t just for the novelty of the brunch being record-breaking. The producers of this event quite simply put on a spectacular show. The brunch was hosted by Kahanna Montrese from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11, L’Whor, and Khloe Katz, another Denver-based queen. Katz says that the experience was very meaningful to her.
“When I walked out on the stage and opened the show, I just thought of the amount of love in that room, and you could feel it radiating from each table,” she tells NewNowNext. “The fact that that many people showed up and gave a shit about what we do was something I will never forget.”
There were around a dozen other performers from Colorado and across the United States who came out to show off their drag talents at this special brunch.
The lineup wasn’t filled exclusively with drag queens, either. Queens, kings, and all other types of drag performers had a space at this event. Emma Mahn, a community member who was in attendance, shares that this made the event that much more special.
“I think big drag events like this bring awareness and new information to people who wouldn’t otherwise think about gender,” she tells NewNowNext. “It’s important to push those boundaries as drag is becoming more mainstream.”
This year’s Drag Days and record-breaking brunch aligned with the 10th anniversary of Drag Nation, a hugely popular monthly drag showcase hosted at Tracks nightclub. Denver drag has seen a resurgence in the last decade, largely due to Drag Nation, which was birthed from Colorado queen Nina Flowers’ show Drama Drag. (Flowers’ show was started in 2009 and has made her something of an icon.)
L’Whor believes that this renaissance in the Denver drag community is fully welcomed. “We’re often fighting for representation in Denver,” she says. “We’re ready to produce events that the world of drag takes seriously.”
Now, the Denver drag community can tangibly prove their vibrancy. The Guinness World Record certification will stay with this record-breaking event until another drag brunch garners a larger audience. However, it won’t be easy. Those involved in Drag Days hope to grow the event year after year—and perhaps even break their own drag brunch record down the line.