Bingo Controversy Hits Melon Festival

For decades bingo has been a pastime that hasn’t been that controversial. Players all over the world love to try and get a line or full house. However, all has not been well in Michigan, USA with arguments galore over the bingo being held at the upcoming annual melon festival. What could possibly be causing such controversy? Read on and all will be explained.

The event is due to be held from August 13 to 15 in Howell, Michigan. Anticipation for the event is high as the festival didn’t take place last year due to the ongoing pandemic. The festival isn’t all about the famous melons that are grown in the area.

There’s also bingo to be played but a big shock was on the way when this year’s event was announced. You see it’s not just a normal game of bingo, it’s Drag Queen bingo! The news of this has angered some residents in the rather conservative town.

Recent meetings held by the Howell City Council and the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority have seen the upset residents turning up to let their opinions be known. It’s been a busy time on social media too with, what can only be described as bigots, complaining about the festival organisers bringing a “sinful lifestyle” to their town.

Megan Reckling is the Livingston County Republican Party Chair. Her view is that the Melon Festival is a “family-friendly event” and not one that should be “sexualized with an event like this.”

Such has been the opposition to the Drag Queen Bingo, that there was a possibility the melon festival might be cancelled. That happening would see local businesses lose more business. That’s the last thing they need after the problems caused by the pandemic.

Support for the Drag Queen bingo has come from Keith Ridge, who owns the Black Iron Coffee shop. “My wife has gone to one. It’s a hilarious comedy show with bingo, not an indoctrination,” he said.

Thankfully, a compromise has been achieved with the bingo now being held in a theatre and starting after 9.30pm. There will also be no alcohol sold at the Drag Queen Bingo event. Explaining the compromise city leaders said their action “was not clouded by an opinion.

”Nor does it take a “social side” or “motivated by politics.” Instead, it was “a discussion-based purely on the concern over safety.” Safety? Was the Drag Queen going to chuck balls at the audience?

The city leaders statement added that at sporting events “that involve high emotions, large crowds and alcohol, things can take a drastic turn quickly.” They do know this is bingo, don’t they?

Drag artist Bradley Haas said that cancelling the bingo had been considered. However, support received from others involved in the bingo meant the show will go on. It’s all about “standing up to people and standing our ground.” The event will take place on August 14 and despite all the opposition, all the tickets have been sold.

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