On Campus LGBTQ+

X MARKS THE SPOT: The Fire Ball Returns for 10th Year

region’s biggest drag show runs Feb. 24-25 at UWEC

Denise Olson | UWEC Integrated Marketing and Communications, photos by Koobmeej Xiong |

PRIDE ON DISPLAY. A scene from the 2019 Fire Ball.
PRIDE ON DISPLAY. A scene from the 2019 Fire Ball.

One of the most elaborate annual events at UW-Eau Claire may have been sidelined for two years due to the pandemic, but it’s making up for lost time in 2023.

Tickets now are available for “Fire Ball X,” the 10th anniversary of the biggest drag show in the region, an annual sellout event set this year for Feb. 24-25 with two shows guaranteed to “raise the roof” on the third floor of Davies Center once again.

Shows are at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, in the Ojibwe Ballroom. Ticket prices range from $20 for students to $35 for adults, with additional perks packages and group rates available.

The lineup for the show, called “Fire Ball X: X Marks the Spot,” is packed with a diverse array of drag performers from the Chippewa Valley and around the U.S. Saturday’s show features Evah Destruction, a fan favorite from the hit show The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Titans. See the Fire Ball Facebook page to learn more about all the performers.

Chippewa Valley-based performer Khloe Wold is honored to co-host a show she has taken part in since it began, and she looks forward to using her voice to address important issues while also entertaining on such a large scale.

“Being asked to co-host this year with the fabulous Coco Latté is such an honor,” Wold says. “I’ve worked hard in this community to make a name for myself and to build opportunities for others, and this opportunity isn’t something I take lightly. I’m so excited for people at Fire Ball X to get to know me and hear more about my story.”

As always, all profit from Fire Ball donations and ticket sales will go directly to the support of LGBTQ+ students through Gender & Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) programming.

“The vitriol and backlash against the queer community has continued to intensify in recent years. Queerness cannot be legislated out of existence — it exists in every facet of day-to-day life.” 



Dr. Christopher Jorgenson, Fire Ball founder and interim executive director of diversity, inclusion, and leadership at UW-Eau Claire, says it’s a thrill to be back with this signature event, one that has filled a critical purpose of support for the LGTBQ+ community on campus and in the region.

“Of course, this is primarily a celebration and an event centered around freedom of expression and joy, but we will be taking an important pause in the opening each night to acknowledge the difficulties of the last couple years,” Jorgenson says.

This sentiment is echoed by Kallie Friede, director of the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center, who reiterates the opportunity that the Fire Ball offers LGBTQ+ allies each year to “step into their support” in a very visible way by taking part in the joy of this event.

“The vitriol and backlash against the queer community has continued to intensify in recent years,” Friede says. “Queerness cannot be legislated out of existence — it exists in every facet of day-to-day life.” 

New ticketing options for 2023

Jorgenson says that due to high demand in recent years for more groups to sit together at Fire Ball, a new set of table sponsorships was established this year, allowing groups or individuals to purchase an entire table and enjoy the night with a large group.

“This year we created the Legend Pass sponsorship in partnership with the UW-Eau Claire Foundation,” Jorgenson says about this unique donation option.

This Foundation-based event sponsorship allows 100% of these group purchases to go to students in the form of scholarships.

“With the purchase of four 10-top tables and six four-top tables by these groups or businesses, the event will net $16,000 that will go directly to individual students in this manner,” Jorgenson says. “Two years off is a long time; we have third-year students and many community members who have never seen the Fire Ball, so the Legend Pass is an excellent way to reintroduce the event to everyone in a big way.”

Jorgenson says that among the many functions and purposes of the Fire Ball, perhaps one of the most important is how it offers all supporters and allies of the queer community a way to send a strong message.

“For the global queer community, the last few years have been exceedingly difficult because of ongoing and virulent backlash to progress that’s been made in the service of queer lives,” he says.

Purchase tickets: