If you’re not already booked with all the best gay things to do in Atlanta this weekend, a Georgia tradition entices daytrippers to Athens on Saturday for its big, gay 23rd annual Boybutante Ball drag AIDS fundraiser.

As always, supportive Atlanta queens will make the trek to be part of this year’s festivities, which carry a “Carnivale Cabaret: A Seductive Circus of Sin” theme for 2012. Look for locals like Wild Cherry Sucret, Edie Cheezburger and several of the Armorettes to take part in the legendary event at the 40 Watt Club.

So what exactly can you expect at Saturday’s Boybutante Ball (top photo)? Athens local Joshua Trey Barnett gives us his best pitch:

Big hair, high heels, and sultry songs will fill the 40 Watt on Saturday as the Boybutante AIDS Foundation hosts its 23rd annual Boybutante Ball, a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS services in Northeast Georgia. Each year, we bring in some of the area’s most renowned drag queens and kings for an exhilarating evening concoction of debauchery and fundraising. Since its inception, Boybutante has raised more than half-a-million dollars for other organizations that service those living with HIV/AIDS.

Fortunately, drag performers are remarkably good at raising money. When they take to the stage, dollar bills seem to weasel their way out of the pockets of onlookers and into the hands of performers. When they shimmy and shake on stage and lip sync into the wee hours of the night, audience members feel compelled to give. At the Boybutante Ball, and each of the four public events held during the annual Boybutante Week, every single dollar raised is put to use by local organizations like AIDS Athens doing the integral work our community so desperately needs in relation to HIV/AIDS.

And besides their uncanny ability to raise funds, drag performers are downright entertaining. Taking a comical, political, or glamorous approach to bending gender expectations, drag kings and queens alike provide our community with a light-hearted reminder that we are all different, quirky, and important. Their sometimes loud and crazy performances are tinged with messages of hope, love, and respect for diversity.

Online tickets are sold out, but there will be a limited number of tickets at the door. Open your wallet as you open your heart. Every cent goes to the cause.