'80s pop star Tiffany to perform at Big Wigs bar for Labor Day party with Ames Pride
"The party starts at 5 p.m. Local YouTube sensation Leslie Hall goes on at 7, and Tiffany goes on at 8," said Rusty Brammer, owner of Big Wigs bar.
The parking lot outside of Big Wigs, 6008 W. Lincoln Way, will open at 5 p.m. as the party space. Food trucks Hungry Boys Taqueria will sell Mexican food and Marmalade Moon, ice cream and cotton candy.
"There will also be fun things for people to do, but it won’t be the vendor fair that people are used to us having for Pride Fest,” said nicci port, vice chair of the Ames Pride board of directors. Port asked that her name be written in all lowercase letters.
The party is $20.
"It will be concert oriented. Not a festival — it’s a concert," said Mook Bascomb, board member of Ames Pride.
Big Wigs, the only gay bar in Ames, has been open since October of 2021. Since it opened, Brammer, who goes by the stage name Vanessa Taylor when in drag, said he wanted Ames Pride to host a nighttime event at the bar.
"I wanted to hold an event in my parking lot, and they got very excited about it. It just developed from there," Brammer said.
Due to the pandemic, Ames Pride has not had an in-person festival or event since 2019, and the idea for the Labor Day weekend party was to go big, port said.
The pause allowed Ames Pride to accumulate money from its normal monthly donors to afford a bigger name. Tiffany rose to fame in the 1980s with two US number one hit singles "I Think We're Alone Now” and “Could've Been." She also was the voice of Judy Jetson on "Jetsons: The Movie."
"That allowed us to do something this big. This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done," port said. "We’ve always had local talent or regional talent for our Pride Fest.
"I can't speak enough about how great it's been to have this partnership with Big Wigs."
Ames Pride holds its board meetings at the bar, and the second Thursday of each month, Big Wigs holds a Bingo night to benefit Ames Pride.
“I want to illustrate how magnanimous Big Wigs has been,” port said. “It’s been a desert in Ames as far as where the queer community can hang out because there’s not been a place like this since about 2002.
“There have been really cool, affirming restaurants and bars but not anything that was like, ‘We are the place for queer people.’ Having Big Wigs here is really filling a need that our community has.”
Opening for Tiffany is YouTube performer Leslie Hall, who performed at the first Ames Pride event in 2017.
"Leslie’s an Ames icon, a living legend," port said.
"It will be exciting to see her performance and see everything coming together again,” Bascomb said.
Guests are encouraged to dress in '80s attire. Children are welcome to attend, but anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Big Wigs will be open and serving drinks, but the main action is in the parking lot.
To accommodate the party, parking is in the McFarland Clinic, 3600 Lincoln Way. A free shuttle will take partygoers to the bar.
Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com.
Ronna Faaborg covers business and the arts for the Ames Tribune. Reach her at email@example.com.