Armorettes Drag Races returns for shenanigans with new twists

Add this share

Decades of daydrinking, drag, boys in bonnets and beers are a gay Atlanta Easter tradition. After two years of pandemic craziness, the carnival-style fun of Easter Drag Races are back in full swing for 2022.

What are Easter Drag Races? “Fun, fun and more fun!” says Chip Pecchio, aka Ally Yankadic, chair of the drag do-gooders and event organizers the Armorettes.

The troupe’s giant outdoor party comes “complete with games and contests to compete in, music, drag queens of all shapes and sizes, and just an excuse to day drink,” added Pecchio, who is also the current chair of the Armorettes.

This year’s festivities are set for the outdoor spaces at Heretic. The venerable bar is also home to the monthly Armorettes shows, which for raises funds to fight HIV in Atlanta for the last 43 years.

“We are so appreciative of all the bars that have supported us over the years, but the Heretic is our home, and we are so ecstatic to be able to share this special day with the staff there,” Pecchio said.

The feeling is mutal, according to Heretic General Manager Alan Collins.

“Of coruse, we started working with the Armorettes many years ago, and I have always wanted to host Easter Drag Races,” Collins said. “This year, all the stars aligned allowing us to finally make it happen on Easter Saturday.  I’m so excited and cannot wait.”


Chip Pecchio, aka Armorettes organizer Ally Yankadic (back row), promises the fun we remember with new twists during Easter Drag Races. (Photo by Russ Bowen-Youngblood)

Always for a good cause

Another Drag Races twist is that it takes place on Saturday, April 16 instead of on Easter proper. The Saturday change is one fans requested for years.

“We have had lots of people tell us they have never been able to attend due to family holiday commitments, work or whatever,” Pecchio said of past Easter Sunday events. “So hopefully, everyone who has missed out can join in the festivities as well as our past regular attendees.

“The move to Saturday is exciting!”

In addition to the traditional bonnet contest, literal races-in-drag Drag Races and so many more carnival games, there are still more new twists for 2022.

“For starters, we have Positive Impact joining us this year to provide on-site HIV testing and hand out their swag,” Pecchio said.  “Next, we have the incomparable Misti Shores helping us host the festivities. Add to that the talents of the Joining Hearts crew and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and this may be the biggest Easter Drag Races yet.”

As for old favorites, there are more of those too, he added.

“We are also very fortunate to welcome some former Armorettes back to join in the festivities, as well as the entire current cast,” Pecchio said. “Attendees will be able to compete in various events, some new and some tried and true, but all proven to be tons of fun!”


Boys and bunnies love Easter Drag Races. (Photo by Matt Hennie)

Bonnet boys

With the anticipation associated with the event – for both established and new features – our heads were spinning. We asked Pecchio for his best elevator pitch.

“Grab your Easter Bonnet and come experience what has been consistently voted the best charity event of the year! Compete in amazing contests including Musical Chairs, Snap Your Weiner, Tito’s Swag Fashion, Tops & Bottoms, and The Drag Races themselves!

And I’m not kidding about your bonnet, as The Easter Bonnet Contest is typically one of the highlights of the day as people go all out and bring their creativity from inside their head to the top of their head!”

The event requires proof of COVID vaccination to enter, and since it’s outside, parking is limited.

“So carpool with a DD or get a Lyft or Uber,” Pecchio suggested. “And don’t forget that the drag show will start inside right after the Easter Drag Races. The Armorettes are known as the Infamous Camp Drag Queens of the South for a reason, so if you haven’t seen a show in a while (or ever), stick around!”

Armorettes Easter Drag Races take place Saturday, April 16 at 4 p.m. Doors open at 3 p.m. Visit the Heretic and Armorettes websites, and follow the Armorettes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Look for more Easter Weekend events on Project Q’s weekend calendar, out Thursday.


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...