Elvis has left the building? Lake George
Village, in the southern Adirondacks of New York state, would
beg to differ! This small village springs to life during the
first week of June with a five-day celebration of the "King of
Rock ‘n' Roll." Tribute artists from far and near descend upon
the Adirondacks to shake, rattle and roll to honor the life and
perpetuate the legacy of Elvis Presley along the shore of the
"Queen of America's Lakes", the pristine 32-mile-long
mountain-rimmed Lake George. Although the setting is serene, you
can be sure that, during the festival, there will be no peace in
A group of Elvis Festival tribute
artists pose by the lake before boarding one of the cruise
ships for a ride.
From the opening night ceremony on
Wednesday evening, June 1, to the Festival Wrap Party on Sunday,
June 5, visitors will enjoy nostalgia-packed musical
presentations and a whole lotta Elvis. Although the event is
based at the Lake George Forum, guests will also have a chance
to rock around the clock to Elvis tunes at venues that include
the Boardwalk Restaurant, the Shoreline Restaurant, King
Neptune's Pub. They may toast the King with hand-crafted local
beer at the Adirondack Brewery and Pub, and even hear a show
aboard the Minne-Ha-Ha steamboat and the Adirondac, one of the
smaller shoreline cruise boats.
Celebrating its 12th anniversary
in Lake George this year, the Elvis Festival is highlighted by
three rounds of competition by the contestants, both youth and
adult performers, who apply months in advance for the privilege
of joining the ranks of the festival's Elvis Tribute Artists
(ETAs). Adult competitors are divided between professional and
non-professional, and must select an era, either the '50s and
'60s category or the '70s category. Costumes reflect the era,
and musicians perform some sets with sound tracks and some with
a live band. Each also will rip it up for an hour in a village
venue. Up to sixty artists will be judged on an extensive list
of criteria. All will be vying for the coveted title of
"Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist" (UETA). With luck, you can catch
a performer for an autograph while you're checking out the
sights in town.
|Even youngsters catch Elvis
The Elvis Festival draws thousands of
people to this little village of Lake George each June. Jason
Sherry, producer of this and three other Elvis Festivals around
the country, speaks of the bonding that occurs among returning
guests, volunteers and performers. "They are becoming part of
our ‘Elvis Family.' It's touching how a simple event can bring
out the wide range of emotions that are attached to Elvis
Presley's life. Each performer and each fan has his or her own
personal connection to Elvis, and it's always interesting to
watch how they manifest throughout the weekend."
Returning guests cherish the traditional
activities like the Elvis Classic Car Parade, as well as the
excitement of the competition, but they also look forward to
hearing non-competing headliners who perform at venues around
town where the entertainment price might be packaged with
dinner. In your down time you'll enjoy wandering along Canada
Street to see the shops or pick up an ice cream cone to refresh
you as you sit in Shepard Park or explore the shoreline
walkways. The "Million Dollar Beach" might tantalize you, or the
nearby outlet malls a few miles south of the village.
|The car parade us a sentimental
journey for all attendees.
Attending the festival is not an impossible
dream, and ticket sales are already open. To learn about pricing
options ranging from single events to a variety of multi-event
packages, and to see the complete schedule and lodging options,
go to http://www.LakeGeorgeElvisFest.com.
You can even download an
application to compete while you are on that site. Lake George
Village is about an hour north of Albany International Airport
at Adirondack Northway exit 21.
Young or old, performer or audience, you
just can't help falling in love with the Lake George Elvis
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