Three days until Elvis arrives
Summer means a lot of things to a lot of people, but if you’re a fan of the King, you know what’s coming.
For more than 20 years, Collingwood has hosted some of the biggest fans of Elvis Presley’s music, including tribute artists, and this year is no different.
In a schedule that is more than a dozen pages long, the July 28 to 30 weekend should satisfy anyone who is a lover of the iconic entertainer’s work.
Rosemarie O’Brien, festival co-ordinator, said this year’s festival will go down as one of the best, with performances from nine of the 10 Ultimate Elvis tribute artists coming from Memphis along with festival favourites like Memphis Jones, and Collingwood Elvis champion Dean Vegas making the trip from Australia.
“I couldn’t book (the Ultimate Elvis champions) all at once, so we have three on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in our arena this year,” said O’Brien. “All of our rounds of competition are now with a live band except for the OLG event. We also have the Storyteller chat this year for all three days. Memphis Jones and I and are going to talk everything Elvis, music history and Collingwood. We are also going to have some special guests.”
There are some changes. This year, the stage is being repositioned in front of the federal building and bleachers are being brought in.
Although most of the competition will take place at the Eddie Bush Arena, visitors with have a chance to see the competitors on Friday at the Hurontario Street stage.
“We have the first round included in the street party on Friday. From noon until 5 p.m. is judging of the first round of the competition, so now you get to see that for free,” said O’Brien. “We have a champion showcase on Saturday and it’s featuring four of our past champions. With the EAF band out of Chicago, they will be backing this show because all of my bands will be in use.”
Although some people may be a little jaded after the longevity of the festival, it is still big news for a lot of people.
“We are getting calls from all over. I had a call from Oshawa — a seniors’ home who wants to bring a van up. I have a new competitor from Germany, a few British interpreters, and I have Dean Vegas, who was our 2000 champion from Australia, who is bringing a tour of 20 people with him,” said O’Brien.
There will be an interactive event near 3rd Street.
For more information, visit collingwoodelvisfestival.com.