‘Dragstravaganza’ brings glitz, gloss and glamour back to Hepner Hall


Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

Amber St. James performing on stage in front of Hepner Hall during 2021 Dragstravaganza.

This year’s Dragstravaganza organized by the San Diego State Student Pride Center brought glitter, glamour and fierceness to Aztec Nights. The show featured San Diego’s best drag queens, who took the stage by storm and completely blew the audience away. 

Upon entering the event, all students were required to have their student ID ready and were handed a raffle ticket that was used for a chance to win free merchandise during the performance. 

Hepner Hall was completely lit up with dancing rainbow lights as the audience of students awaited the queens to come on stage. The turnout was substantial, with close to one hundred students in the crowd at the beginning of the night — which only increased as the night progressed. 

When the drag queens came out on stage, it is safe to say that they SLAYED. The show was hosted by Ms. Amber St. James and Luxe The Drag Queen, both of whom were extremely excited to be back performing at SDSU and got the crowd ready for a wild ride of a night. 

The drag queen lip-synced songs ranging from Ariana Grande to 90’s classics as they served their best looks. Wearing stilettos, they did cartwheels, the splits, stood on chairs and so much more showcasing their pure talent. 

All the queens that performed are part of a San Diego-based group called “Sisters of St. James.” Even though not all the drag events at SDSU have been named Dragstravaganza, this group has been working closely with the university for the last 6 years to bring action-packed nights of drag to the students. 

Amber St. James (they/them/she/hers) is a drag legend who refers to herself as a “Kickass Bearded Black Activist Queen.” She thought that this year’s event had an amazing turnout. 

“I’d say that last night felt like coming home. After being able to plan and build these kinds of shows with SDSU for the last 6 years, it felt amazing to come back again and slay like nothing had ever changed.” Said St. James, “The crowd’s energy was the lit-est it has ever been, truly a historical moment for SDSU drag especially because that was the first time we’ve ever done the event outside of Hepner Hall.” 

Luxe The Drag Queen (she/her/hers) also praised the ecstatic energy the performers received from the crowd. She says she looks forward to performing in front of SDSU students again next month.   

The thing I love the most about performing at SDSU is just how electric the crowd is always! There is a level of support and adoration that comes from SDSU students that is unmatched anywhere else,” Luxe said. “The fact that the drag shows SDSU holds are quick to become full-blown concerts with people jumping up and screaming. With everyone filming to save that moment it is an experience you truly couldn’t find in Hillcrest with such intensity.”

The drag queens were not the only performers at Dragstravaganza. The hosts picked four lucky students out of the crowd to take part in a challenge. In this challenge, the four participants wore wigs that resembled different pop icons. When they heard their pop star’s song start to play, they had to bring their fiercest dance moves to the stage. The students brought their all and made the crowd go wild. The winner received a poster signed by all the queens. 

Dragstravaganza brought students from all walks of life together to bond over a night of dancing and stilettos. The crowd laughed, danced and their immaculate energy filled the school’s front plaza. 

Another performer was Jaidynn Fierce, a Season 7 contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” who loved the level of participation and attendance from the SDSU crowd. 

“I was not surprised by the turnout of the show because I knew from the first time that SDSU knows how to TURN UP and SHOW OUT,” Fierce said. 

The “Sisters of St. James’’ group will be making a return to SDSU on Oct. 30 2021, for their Halloween-themed show “Scream Queens”. This show will also be hosted by Amber St. James and Luxe The Drag Queen. 

For those who missed the event, the “Sisters of St. James’” group hosts frequent shows in San Diego. The Instagram for the group is @hausofstjames and @sosjphaus where they post daily updates of upcoming shows.