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Drag Queens on Ice Heralds the True Beginning of SF’s Holiday Season

Written by Julie ZigorisPublished Nov. 29, 2022 • 5:12pm
Union Square in San Francisco, 2021. | Courtesy of The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the seasons apart in a city where the leaves barely change color in the fall. But one way to know the winter holidays are upon us is with fabulous and frosty events like Drag Queens on Ice

The beloved drag performance returns to the Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square on Thursday for its 13th year, continuing a San Francisco tradition. 

“I went skates over ass last year,” said drag artist Jubilee, who performed as an iceberg in the 2021 event. “But I jumped back up, and people loved it.” 

That’s part of the appeal of going to Drag Queens on Ice, according to Jubilee, where you’ll see elements that would never be included in another professional program. 

“It’s what makes it different and so special,” Jubilee said. “That element of hilarity and the enduring human spirit.” 

Union Square in San Francisco in 2021 | Courtesy The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square

The exaggerated, larger-than-life outfits are another draw. Jubilee will be performing as a gingerbread cookie this year—donning 50 feet of cotton rope and some old hula hoops. (The rope, when spied from a distance, takes on the appearance of icing.)

While Jubilee expects there will be hecklers, she doesn’t predict it will be enough to throw anyone off their feet. 

“When drag moves outside its safe spaces, there’s always a reaction from people who think queer people shouldn’t exist in public places,” she said. “But San Francisco will show our queer folks how supported they are. Because if we don’t check it, this behavior will continue.” 

Union Square in San Francisco in 2021 | Courtesy of The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square

The family-friendly performance is perfect for children, similar to the uber-popular drag queen storytimes at public libraries. “Kids see drag queens, and they get it,” Jubilee said.  

Guests can skate alongside the queens as they warm-up for their routines or grab a spot beside the rink to take in the troupe of seven Bay Area drag queens performing this year. 

Donna Sachet returns to host as the Mistress of Ceremonies alongside Dusty Porn, Jota Mercury, Khmera Rouge, Mahlae Balenciaga, Princess Poppy, Tara Lipsyncki—and Jubilee. 

Jubilee performs on the ice at Union Square in San Francisco in 2021. | Courtesy The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square

Tickets to skate cost $40 and must be purchased in advance online, but spectators are more than welcome to watch for free.  

Like the popular Golden Girls drag performances, Drag Queens on Ice is a sign that the holidays are upon us. 

“We don’t have a lot of seasonal cues in San Francisco like other places in the country,” Jubilee said. “Drag is a perfect fit for that holiday feeling—feeling safe, valued, cozy and together.” 

Drag Queens on Ice

📍Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
🕑 Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
☎️ (415) 863-7576
🎟️ $40, free to watch 

Julie Zigoris can be reached at

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