With simmering heat and a virus knocking out countless summer events, next weekend will prove to be quite a drag in Midland.
But in this case, that's a good thing.
The town’s drive-in serves as the location for the first Canadian stop of Drive In Drag Show Canada, a new initiative that will take place at drive-in theatres in Ontario this summer with stops coming soon to other locations, including Barrie.
Presented by Midland’s Splash Events and Dragging Across Canada, the variety show will feature three of Canada's top drag queen performers, including Miss Conception, one of Canada's busiest drag performers, and special guests Sofonda and Lady Face on the Corus Entertainment stage.
Jodi James, who’s also the star of the popular Big Wigs show held annually at the Midland Cultural Centre, will host the all-ages event slated for Friday and Saturday.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Jaime Crouch, owner of Splash Events and the performer behind the Jodie James persona.
Crouch said this is the first-of-its-kind show in Canada.
“It's a way for us to all get out, enjoy a fantastic, entertaining show and still remain safe,” said Crouch, who noted similar shows have only recently started in Las Vegas during the current period of social distancing.
“We’ve received really positive feedback. Tickets are already 35 percent sold for both nights. The show is going to be an experience.”
It also breathes some life into the local drive-in after long-time owners Stacey Babcock-Cox and Gord Cox announced earlier this year they were shutting it down.
“We presented the idea to Stacey and Gord,” Crouch said, noting they were excited to see the popular spot host at least one more event.
Crouch said the food will also be top-notch for the shows with Feast Catering coming on board with the Drive-In Diner.
“We’re really going all out,” he said.
Crouch said the event couldn’t come at a better time for businesses like his that have seen drops due to COVID-19 with few events happening around the area this spring and summer and flower sales drastically declining since there’s “no need for wedding flowers.”
He added: “We’re employing, we’re employed and it’s going to get us through the summer.”
And to ensure everyone’s safety, Crouch said organizers are strictly following government and health agency regulations regarding COVID-19, including checking every guest’s temperature at the gate.
As well, attendees will be required to remain in vehicles or may stay in their allotted parking space outside of their vehicles wearing masks, which must also be worn when using the washroom.
Gates open at 7 p.m. for the pre-show and Drive-In Diner with the show getting underway at 9 p.m. Tickets are $220 plus tax per carload of four people maximum. A portion of each ticket sale will be donated to the Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation.Event information, including parking regulations and COVID19 measures, can be found here.