The Oaklash Festival is coming stomping and sashaying back this weekend, celebrating drag and queer performance in all its forms for a diverse and adoring Bay Area audience.

"This year we’re trying to emphasize that Drag is so much more than just glitter and rainbows – it’s about community, catharsis, and building a new queer future," says organizer Mama Celeste — no relation to the frozen pizza.

Oaklash, which first came together in Oakland in 2018, continues to be one of the zaniest and most delightful drag events in the Bay. And this year it spans three days, including a kickoff party and show at Nectar Social Club (408 15th Street) on Friday night, May 17, the main festival on 9th Street in Old Oakland starting at 1 pm Saturday. There is also an "afterkiki" Saturday night at For The Culture, and a Sunday evening "funeral" and drag show titled "Rebirth: The Death of Drag," at Omni Commons (4799 Shattuck Avenue) in Temescal.

Saturday's main event features two stages and dozens of performers taking to those stages over seven hours. Notable local drag stars include Nicki Jizz, Beatrix Lahaine, Mary Vice, Amoura Teese, and the headliner is Rupaul's Drag Race Season 15 winner, the great Sasha Colby.

Sunday's drag "funeral" will be hosted by Hollow Eve (from Dragula Season 3) and the House of Rude — the drag house of the late, great Phatima Rude. The House of Rude will be recognizing the three-year anniversary of Phatima's passing with an immersive drag installation — a hint of which can be seen below.

Tickets are $20 (suggested donation) for each event and can be found here — $50 full weekend passes are no longer available.

Below, video from last year's Oaklash block party.

Top image by Life Bizarre