Y’all Means All supports ‘the good we all do’

Published 7:06 pm Friday, October 1, 2021

NATCHEZ — Tickets are going quickly for events in the Y’all Means All The Weekend, which is Oct. 21-23.

“We are very happy with how ticket sales are going,” John Grady Burns said. Burns is a founder of Y’all Means All. The group’s goal is to bring about unity by celebrating diversity. It raises money to provide for mental health services for teens and adults in the Natchez area. Proceeds from the event are donated on alternating years to either the Four Rivers Chapter of the National Alliance of Mental Illness Four Rivers chapter in Mississippi and Southwest Mississippi Mental Health.

The biggest event of The Weekend is the Battle of the Belles and Beaus

Saturday night, Oct. 23, at the Natchez City Auditorium. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the event is from 8-10:30 p.m.

Tickets remain available for this event. Those interested should go to yallmeansallnatchez.org to purchase.

Y’all Means All members pulled out the big guns this year and recruited the world renown actor, singer and comedian Leslie Jordan.

“He has just cut a country western album with some pretty big stars, so I’m sure he is going to sing a number or two and do a comedy routine. We are going to let him do whatever he wants,” Burns said.

The Battle will also feature Mrs. Kasha Davis and Josalyn Royale.

“Josalyn Royale will be back as emcee and co-host again. She did a fabulous job our first time and we are happy to have her back.”

Six “straight” Natchezians will participate in The Battle of the Beaus and will dress in drag opposite to their gender.

They are Drew Thompson, Hunter Rogillo, Russ McSwain, Kerry Dicks, Lee Carby and Devin Gammill.

“They will vie for the title of Mr. or Mrs. Tableaux. We will have one winner,” Burns said.

During the first year of the event, Y’all Means All raised $60,000 and was able to offer $20,000 to Southwest Mississippi Mental Health to provide services to the need.

COVID limited what Y’all Means All was able to do last year, “but we did do some things to raise funds and were able to give $5,000 to NAMI,” Burns said. “Since they didn’t get a full year of events, they are going to be our recipients again this year.”

Tickets are becoming limited for the Thursday night, Oct. 21, Drag Queen Bingo event because of the limited seating. Bingo is being held at EPYK, 515 Main St., outside in the courtyard from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. The event last year was an overwhelming success and lots of fun, Burns said.

“Tickets come with five Bingo cards and extra cards are available for $1,” he said. “And doors open at 5 p.m. for those who want to visit and have a cocktail before Bingo begins.”

A cash bar and food will be available for purchases, and prizes will be awarded to participants.

On Friday night, Oct. 22, The Weekend Welcome Reception will begin at 7 p.m. and continue to 9 p.m. at the historic Choctaw Hall, 310 N. Wall St.

“David Garner and Lee Glover are once again graciously hosting the welcome reception,” Burns said. Tickets are $25.

Beginning at 9:30 p.m. Saturday night after the welcome reception, a Speakeasy After Party is planned for upstairs at EPYK. Password is Fabulous, Burns said.

“You get in the after party for free if you bought at ticket to the welcome reception,” he said. “Otherwise, tickets to the after party are $15. Think ’70s, drag queens, disco and lots of fun.”

On Saturday at Hal Garner at Nest, Poppy Tooker, a native New Orleanian who is well-known Louisiana food writer, will be signing copies of her latest book, Drag Queen Brunch, beginning at 10 a.m.

“We will have a few little nibbles and bubbles. Her books will be available for purchase and she will sign them,” he said.

Saturday will also include a tour of homes. Visitors will be shuttled to four area homes in the downtown area for tours. Each of the homes is for sale, he said, and the tour is at no charge.

“The most important thing is for no one to take this weekend seriously. It is meant to be fun, meant to be laughed at and to raise funds for mental health service,” Burns said. “Just because we don’t agree with who we are or where we come from doesn’t mean we can’t support the good we all do.”