Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



World’s oldest drag queen and company heads to downtown Forest Grove this summer.

FILE PHOTO - Drag queen Darcelle XV is set to perform a sold-out show at Diversity Cafe in Forest Grove on Sunday, June 23. How does Forest Grove keep things lively on a breezy, summer night? Diversity Cafe and Catering looks to have found the perfect solution.

Bring on the glitz and glamour because Darcelle XV, the world's oldest drag queen, is coming to town. The 89-year-old performer and company will be entertaining at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at Diversity Cafe to an already sold-out audience.

"Tickets for the evening sold out just five days after we posted them back in March," said Carey LaFave, owner of Diversity. "We wanted to have enough time to advertise, but there was such an overwhelmingly positive response early on, we really didn't have to."

Although Darcelle XV has been visiting the area for years to perform at Pacific University, the entertainer said the group is excited to do a show for the larger Forest Grove community. This also aligns with Diversity's goal of bringing a wider range of entertainment to the area.

"Having Darcelle XV here, I think, really nails down the expression and intentions of Diversity," LaFave said. "We've had Hawaiian bands, tribute performers and comedy nights, but a drag show will be another first for us."

While Diversity's team was and still is prepared for potentially unkind words about the drag performance, they say the public's interest in an iconic act like Darcelle XV was enough to convince them the show was worth holding.

"There was a time in which we weren't always asked to do shows, or at least asked quite as often," Darcelle said. "But if we're asked to do a show, then we do a show. As performers we could work anywhere and feel comfortable, especially nowadays."

And as LGBTQ pride month continues, LaFave and Jamie Patzlaff, director of finance, hope the coincidentally timed event brings in a mix of both fresh and familiar faces.

"One of our biggest goals is to always have something exciting happening in Forest Grove," LaFave said. "We want to give customers a variety of entertainment without having to travel so far away."

Although the June 23 show is already sold out, those still interested in seeing the drag performance may be in luck. Accoding to LaFave, Darcelle XV has expressed interest in potentially returning to the cafe depending on the show's success.

Darcelle XV and company can also be found at their permanent Portland location at 208 N.W. Third Ave., hosting the longest-running drag show on the West Coast.

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