America’s Vacationland is once again gearing up to shake, rattle ‘n’ roll with the eighth annual Lake George festival dedicated to all things Elvis.
This year’s LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival kicks off at 7:30pm on Thursday with the free opening ceremonies in beautiful Shepard Park. Ronny Craig will serve as master of ceremonies, and you’ll get the opportunity to hear many of the fest’s sideburned headliners free of charge, including the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Champion Bill Cherry and the 2010 LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival ’70s champion Mark Anthony. Other Elvis tribute artists slated to perform include Dwight Icenhower, Lance Dobinson, Denny Diamond, Ted Torres, Jesse Aaron and Mark Gagnon.
According to organizers, Lake George’s Presley party is now the second-largest Elvis Tribute Artist Competition in the world. (Yeah, please don’t call ‘em Elvis impersonators. They’re Tribute Artists.)
The festival’s centerpiece is the three-day competition which begins on Friday, featuring more than 50 professional, non-professional and youth division competitors. And in the truly international spirit of Elvis, the festival performers not only come from all over the United State, but also from Canada, Australia, Wales and even Qatar.
At 8pm on Friday at the Lake George Forum, it’s the “Tribute to Rock and Roll History” concert featuring Elvis tribute artists, Mark Anthony and Lance Dobinson. The show will also feature Dwight Icenhower’s tribute to Elton John, Denny Diamond’s tribute to Neil Diamond, Ted Torre’s tribute to Ricky Nelson, Mark Gagnon’s tribute to Johnny Cash, Robert Washington’s tribute to James Brown and Jesse Aaron’s tribute to Roy Orbison.
Throughout the weekend, there are plenty of other concerts and Elvis-oriented events. You’ll also find the Elvis Pancake Breakfast, the Elvis Collectibles Sale, the Elvis Classic Car Parade, the Elvis Cruise onboard the Minne-Ha-Ha, the Elvis Sunday morning gospel concert, lots of Elvis After-Hours Parties and even a Sunday morning Ultimate Elvis Wedding Ceremony.
Some events are free. Admission charge to other events range from $15-$55. Or you can purchase an all-fest Blue Suede Pass.
MORE UPCOMING FESTIVALS FOR 2011:
Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 2-5
ABL’s Bluegrass Roundup @ McConchie’s Heritage Acres, Galway, June 3-5
The Berkshire Countryfest @ Wahconah Park, Pittsfield, June 4
Rhythm On the Ridge @ Maple Ski Ridge, Rotterdam, June 11
Art On Lark @ Lark Street, Albany, June 11 FREE
Capital Pride Parade & Festival @ Washington Park, Albany, June 12 FREE
Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, June 24-26
Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, June 24-26
Freihofer’s Jazz Festival @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, June 25-26
The WGNA CountryFest @ the Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, July 9
Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 16-17
The Big Up @ Sunnyview Farm, Ghent, July 28-30
Bluestock Music Festival @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, August 26-28
Jazz at the Lake: Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George, September 17-18, FREE