FEST: The Lake George Elvis Festival Kicks Off Today

June 1st, 2016, 9:30 am by Greg

All Elvis, all the time…

If that sounds good to you, then Lake George is where you want to be this week, as the 2016 LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival takes over New York State’s retro-vacation mecca for five days of non-stop Elvis entertainment, including a three-day preliminary for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

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Yes, beginning today (Wednesday, June 1), it’s the annual Invasion of the Presley People…

More than 50 tribute artists from all around the globe will compete for over $10,000 in prize money in five categories – Early Years (’50s-’60s) Professional; ’70s Professional; Early Years (’50s-’60s) Non-Professional; ’70s Non-Professional; and Youth.

Other festival features which take place at a wide variety of different venues throughout the Village of Lake George include an Elvis collectibles sale, late night after-hours parties, a classic car parade, Elvis films, Elvis-themed cruises on the lake and a Sunday Elvis gospel concert.

Here’s a schedule of this week’s events all around Lake George:

TODAY (WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1)
7pm: Opening Ceremony at Shepard Park
The free opening night ceremony kicks off the Lake George Elvis Festival. The ceremony takes place lakeside at the amphitheater in Shepard Park. Get a run down of this year’s schedule, any changes from last year and enjoy performances from many of the headliners.

8:30pm: Opening Night Party at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery
After the opening ceremony, come to the Adirondack Pub & Brewery for great food, local beer and Elvis entertainment. Many of the headliners and competitors will take the mic to entertain the crowd and warm up their voices.

THURSDAY (JUNE 2)
4pm: Past Champion’s Dinner at the Shoreline Restaurant
Come to the Shoreline Restaurant and grab dinner before Thursday night’s show. Several of our past champions will be on hand to entertain you including last year’s champion Michael Chambliss, plus Dwight Icenhower and Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist David Lee.

7pm: “Elvis ’56” starring Cody Ray Slaughter at the Lake George Forum
We are very excited to present the touring production of “Elvis ’56” starring Cody Ray Slaughter with Samantha Chambliss & the Hillbilly Katz. The show features Elvis’ hits from his historic tour in 1956 and tells the story of Elvis’ rise from Hillbilly Cat to the King of Rock and Roll. Samantha Chambliss and drummer David Fontana (son of Elvis’ drummer DJ Fontana) open the show with stories, comedy and music.

10pm: After Party (location TBA)
Grab a bite to eat, a bit to drink and enjoy Elvis entertainment late into the evening.

FRIDAY, JUNE 3
9:30am-5pm: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, Round 1 @ Lake George Forum
Watch more than 50 Elvis Tribute Artists compete for $10,000 in prize money and the chance to represent Lake George at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest held during Elvis Week in Memphis. The Elvises will compete in one of five divisions: Professional Early Years; Professional ’70s; Non-Professional Early Years; Non-Professional ’70s; and Youth. Each ETA will perform on Friday – half with tracks and half will perform with the Change of Habit tribute band. The top five from each division (only top 3 Youth) will compete in Sunday’s finals.

1pm-2:30pm: Elvis aboard the Adirondac Lake Cruise (departing from Shoreline Restaurant)
All aboard the Adirondack for a cruise around Lake George. Last year’s champion Michael Chambliss and Lake George favorite Ted Torres will provide entertainment.

7pm: “Jukebox LIVE: Tribute to Rock and Roll History” at Lake George Forum
“Jukebox LIVE” features many of your favorite ETAs (Elvis Tribute Artists) performing tributes to other entertainers. This year’s show will include appearances by Dean Z as Buddy Holly, Dwight Icenhower as Elton John, Robert Washington as James Brown, Mark Gagnon as Johnny Cash, Samantha Chambliss as Marilyn Monroe and an closing set by past Lake George Elvis Festival Champion and 2015 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist David Lee.

10pm: After Hours Party at the Boardwalk Restaurant
Grab a bite to eat, a bit to drink and enjoy Elvis entertainment late into the evening.

SATURDAY, JUNE 4
9am: Elvis Classic Car Parade from Lake George High School to the Lake George Forum
The local classic car club takes the ETAs on a parade from the Lake George High School, through town to the Lake George Forum.

9:30am-5pm: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, Round 2 at Lake George Forum
More than 50 ETAs compete for $10,000 in prize money and the chance to represent Lake George at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest held during Elvis Week in Memphis. Competitors will compete in one of five divisions: Professional Early Years; Professional ’70s; Non-Professional Early Years; Non-Professional ’70s; and Youth. Each day, half the group performs with tracks and half performs with the Change of Habit tribute band. The top five from each division (only top three Youth) will compete in Sunday’s finals.

12noon: Elvis Around Town at various locations
Stroll around the village of Lake George and visit local bars and restaurants, get some lunch or a few drinks and enjoy music provided by the Elvis Tribute Artists!

1:30, 3 & 4:30pm: Elvis Aboard the Minne-Ha-Ha Cruises departing from the the Lake George Steamboat Company Dock
The Minne sails three times today with Elvis aboard. The 1:30pm cruise will feature Ted Torres with the 3pm and the 4:30pm featuring Bruce Stewart and Jim Barone respectively.

4-8pm: Dinner at the Shoreline Restaurant
The Elvis entertainers around town all day, hang out at the Shoreline Restaurant for an extra two hours to entertain during the dinner hour.

7pm: School of Rock’s First Class at Lake George Forum
The Saturday night concert celebrates the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The concert stars Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Dean Z making his first appearance at the Lake George Elvis Festival and last year’s champion Michael Chambliss. Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist David Lee and past champion Dwight Icenhower will also appear.

10pm: After Hours Party at King Neptune’s Pub
After each night’s concert we host an after party at a local bar or restaurant. It’s an opportunity to grab a bite to eat, a bit to drink and enjoy Elvis entertainment late into the evening.

SUNDAY, JUNE 5
9:30-11am: Elvis Music Gospel Celebration at Lake George Forum
Some of the biggest voices in the ETA world will celebrate the gospel roots of Elvis, including Dwight Icenhower, Michael Chambliss and Robert Washington.

1-5:30pm: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, Finals @ Lake George Forum
Competitors will compete in one of five divisions: Professional Early Years; Professional ’70s; Non-Professional Early Years; Non-Professional ’70s; and Youth. The top five from each division (only top 3 Youth) will compete in the finals backed by the Change of Habit. All 23 finalists will go home with a share of over $10,000 in prize money, and the Grand Champion will go on to represent Lake George at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis.

7pm: Festival Wrap Party at King Neptune’s Pub
Say goodbye to your Elvis friends and family and celebrate this year’s champion. One last opportunity to grab a bite to eat, a bit to drink and enjoy Elvis entertainment featuring David Fontana and the Hillbilly Kats backing many of your favorite ETAs.

In addition to these events, the Elvis Festival will feature an Elvis Collectibles Sale showcasing Elvis merchandise from official festival t-shirts to key chains, CDs and DVDs, collectibles and more.

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING FESTIVALS FOR 2016:
MOUNTAIN JAM @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 2-5
WILDWOODSTOCK @ the Parting Glass, Saratoga Springs, June 5
ART ON LARK @ Lark Street, Albany, June 5, FREE
A TASTE OF COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, June 10-12
CLEARWATER’S GREAT HUDSON RIVER REVIVAL @ Croton Point Park, Croton-On-Hudson, June 18-19 UPDATE: This festival has been cancelled.
TROY RIVER FESTIVAL @ River Street, Troy, June 18, FREE
DAD FEST @ Washington Park, Albany, June 19, FREE
OLD SONGS FESTIVAL @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, June 24-26
BEACON JAZZ FESTIVAL @ Pete & Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park, June 25
FREIHOFER’S SARATOGA JAZZ FESTIVAL @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, June 25 & 26
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 8-10
COUNTRYFEST @ Schaghticoke Fairgrounds, Schaghticoke, July 9
GREY FOX BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL @ Walsh Farm, Oak Hill, July 14-17
SCHENECTADY COUNTY SUMMERNIGHT @ State & Jay streets, Schenectady, July 15, FREE
FRESHGRASS @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, September 16-18
JAZZ AT THE LAKE @ Shepard Park, Lake George, September 17 & 18, FREE
AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL FOR THE LAKE @ Charles Wood Park, Lake George, September 24 & 25