Iona & China

Author: Bonnie Heilman and Jack Saddleback

China White calls herself an “established Drag Queen” but that – unlike most everything else about her – is an understatement. The truth is that China White and Iona Whip are, unto their glamorous selves, an establishment of the Saskatoon Pride Festival.

Over the years, they’ve brought life and laughter to the festival in so many ways and so so so many outfits. They’ve emceed the Pride Festival Mainstage with performances by local bands like Too Soon Monsoon or Dirty & The Perks and spoken word artists like ecoaborijanelle and Elise Pallagi. This year, with the festival happening online for the second time in a row, China & Iona hosted Shake, Rim & Twist – an online cocktail making class with performances held at the Alt Hotel. They are also staple at Saskatoon Pride fundraisers like Drag Queen Bingo and Drags Benny.

(There Iona. Maybe that will help jog your memory. 😉

Speaking of Drags Benny, when you drag yourself out of bed the day after Pride, you can find some of the best Eggs Benedict that Saskatoon has to offer at Poached on 2nd Ave. And if you linger long enough, you can start the party over again with premium cocktails, when Poached transforms into its sultry alter-ego, Flint Saloon. When you’re feeling ready for the dance floor, cruise over to Diva’s Nightclub, a bonafide institution of 2SLGBTQ+ nightlife in Saskatoon, where you might find a Queen or two from the YXE Drag Collective and you’ll most definitely find some delicious dance beats.

Or if you’re looking for something refreshing and restorative the day after the festival, take an Uber out of the city to Cranberry Flats or Paradise Beach, where you can find nude beach areas within walking distance.

However you choose to spend your time at Saskatoon Pride, it’s not hard to find fun and friendly people excited to welcome you.