Lock up the kids! It’s Drag Queen Bingo in Howell!

This year’s Howell Melon Festival has added an interesting late-evening, adults-only event: Drag Queen Bingo. And the event — a fundraiser for the Pride Alliance of Livingston and the Livingston Diversity Council — is clearly labeled as such.

“Please be aware that there will be many raunchy jokes for adult audiences only,” the ticket page warns. “This event is 21+ and a valid ID will be required for entrance.”

But not everyone thinks the event is a good idea. Take Meghan Reckling, chair of the Livingston County Republican Party and chief of staff for state Sen. Lana Theis, for example, who doesn’t like Drag Queen Bingo, not one little bit. And she wants people to email the Howell Recreation Authority, which puts on the Melon Festival, with their “thoughts.”

“The Howell Melon Fest is supposed to be a family-friendly event,” Reckling wrote in a Facebook post, “… not one that should be sexualized with an event like this.”

And after she asked folks to email the Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority to let them know their thoughts, the local GOP’s official Facebook page asked people to share their thoughts on Drag Queen Bingo with the authority, too.

Since I am lucky to have this wonderful bully pulpit, I will save the email and share my thoughts with all of you:

Drag Queen Bingo sounds like it might be a lot of adult fun, and it’s benefiting two great community organizations.

The event — for anyone 21 and older — is set for 9:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at 219 N. Walnut St. in downtown Howell. Tickets are $20 each and they benefit the Pride Alliance of Livingston County and the Livingston Diversity Council. Click here for more info and to get your tickets.

And the beauty of it all is that adults over the age of 21 who don’t like the idea of Drag Queen Bingo don’t have to go.

What I wonder is where all this family-friendly angst from the chair of our local GOP was when it came to events like the local Realtors’ Bras for a Cause, which featured men wearing women’s bras and dancing about to raise money for breast cancer research; or Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, in which men walked around the Tanger Outlet Center in women’s heels to raise money for domestic violence programs.

I think the Historic Howell Theater ought to brace itself for a possible finger-wagging over its annual “Rocky Horror Picture Show” event this fall.


• The Drag Queen Bingo event is sold out, although Howell Area Parks & Recreation has a waiting list.

• The Historic Howell Theater is showing “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 9, and Saturday, July 10. Special ticket price of $12 includes the movie and a prop bag. Advance tickets are highly recommended:
FRI JULY 9: https://historic-howell-theater.square.site/…/3116…
SAT JULY 10: https://historic-howell-theater.square.site/…/3117…
Late Night July Ticket Bundle: https://historic-howell-theater.square.site/…/3140…


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Journalist Maria Stuart worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. These days, she runs The Livingston Post.


  1. I’ve watched videos on DQ Bingo and it looks hilarious; though I’ve not had the chance to see one in person. As far as being “sexualized”, I see more “sexualized looking” young women/boys wearing next to nothing on these hot summer days/nights and nobody bats an eye. You don’t want to watch, or think its not something for you, don’t go; stay home or go elsewhere. I agree with the author of this article regarding the hypocrisy when bras for a cause or running in her shoes were never deemed as “sexualized”. Again, you don’t want to watch this show; don’t. If you are mentioning young impressionable kids who may “sneak” a peak at this late night show; well, maybe the parents should keep a closer eye on what/where little Johnny/Jane are and what they are doing. I have no problem with this show being presented as I’ve had in laws and friends that have seen this and mentioned it was one of the best, funniest shows they have seen; and not because people are there to laugh at the entertainers, as one person above mentioned. I’ve lived in Howell for 31 years and have a business in town for the last 5.5 years; glad to see Howell, and Livingston County more open to venues such as this.

  2. Another great article, Maria. It looks like another failed attempt for Sen Theis and Meghan (train) Reckling to remain relevant.

  3. There is a big silver lining in all of this. What a great way to highlight mental health awareness in our community, and to show how many suffer from gender dysphoria and need help.

  4. Amazing!!! I think this is Fabulous and the group doing this event had been at SO many pride events this year that have all gone amazing!!! I wish tickets were not sold out I would buy one!!! Hope everyone has a great time!

  5. Sounds like fun. Maybe the “young impressionable kids” should not be out so late. About time Livingston county is getting into the 21st century.

  6. She makes a really snotty remark about adults who don’t wanna go don’t have to go… What about the taxpayers who don’t want to pay for this- with our tax dollars? Melon fast it is a family event this is not a family event this is perverse and I want to know how much of our tax dollars went towards this

  7. DRAG QUEEN BINGO at the Melon Festival:

    I personally don’t agree that this “show” should be at the Howell Melon Festival. But, thank God we live in America!

    There is nothing entertaining about this. But, If you’re an adult and want to see it, it’s “your choice” to expose yourself to it. But, let’s face it – adults don’t watch drag queens because they’re accepting of them. They go to the events to “laugh at them”, which is hypocritical of what the drag queens are saying that they want. This is not about being inclusive in any way shape or form!

    The festival is advertised as a “family friendly” public event outdoors. The drag queen event is outside in a parking lot (possibly like the beer tent) so older “impressionable” children that are at the festival with parents later in the evening may be able to hear/view. The flyer states there will be raunchy jokes and adult content which makes it not family friendly!

    THIS EVENT SHOULD BE IN A BUILDING WITH DOORS PERIOD. Please take time to watch the videos online of drag queen bingo!

    Please consider either removing this event or relocating this event into a building with doors.… it is not appropriate for a “FAMILY FRIENDLY” outdoor event.

  8. Sounds like great fun wish I known about it sooner I would of brought tickets I’ve always wanted to go to one of their bingos

  9. I’m waitlisted for the event. Hoping to get two tickets! Bet they
    could raise more money by adding a second event!

  10. Sounds like so much fun! Wish I could make it. Great Job Howell Rec for supporting a drag show

  11. I think this is fabulous and I’m going to by buying tickets. What a fun night out with great people.

  12. If youve ever been to DQ Bingo in Royal Oak…its a blast. And if you dont agree with it…dont go!

  13. Drag Queen Bingo sounds like blast! GOP need to mind their own business. Great fundraiser!

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