Fire Ball Is Hot Stuff

Pride Is A Riot will heat up Ojibwe Ballroom

author & photographer by Nate Cooksey, photos by Luong Huynh |

Each year, UW-Eau Claire’s Fire Ball brings drag performers from around the country to Eau Claire for the largest drag ball fundraiser in the Midwest. Participants celebrate the individuality, self-realization and love that can be unleashed through drag – and it is all for an excellent cause. Since 2014, UWEC’s Ojibwe Ballroom has been the site of the Fire Ball and will continue this tradition Feb. 28-29 at 6:30pm. Each year’s Fire Ball is given a specific theme, with this year’s being Pride is a Riot – a direct response to the tumultuous political atmosphere of the past several years as it relates to LGBTQIA+ issues locally and nationally.

Each year, former contestants of RuPaul’s Drag Race grace the stage, with this year’s queens announced as Season 9 runner-up, Peppermint (on the first night) and Season 11 Miss Congeniality, Nina West (second night). They will be joined by performers Khloe Wold, Taylor Ashton, Jem Stone and many more, with the full line-up available online at

Tickets are available online as well at, with multiple levels to choose from: $25 gets you in as general admission, for a mere $10 more ($35) you can be seated stage-side with the DIVA Pass, and if you are trying to get the most out of your weekend, a GLAM Pass is offered at $60 which gives you DIVA Passes for both days at a discount. And remember, no matter which pass you go with, you will not see the same show twice and 100% of the proceeds go to funding the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center programming at UWEC. 

Fire Ball 2020: Pride is a Riot. UWEC Ojibwe Ballroom in Davies Center. Feb. 28-29, doors open at 5:30pm, show begins at 6:30pm. Tickets available online at, $25-$35.