An impersonator of ‘The King’ sings a number at the opening concert of the 2009 Lake George Elvis Festival.
Long black sideburns, crooning male voices and swiveling hips will be taking over Lake George this weekend as the village hosts the ninth annual Lake George Elvis Festival.
The four-day event, set for Thursday May 30 through Sunday june 3, is centered around a competition of more than 50 Elvis tribute artists and three headline evening concerts.
The festival also features various performances around the village, as well as a classic car parade down Canada St., themed lake cruises, after-hours parties and a sale of Elvis collectibles and merchandise.
Over 4,000 Elvis fans are expected to attend. Festival founder Jason Sherry said May 29 that a strong lineup of talent and a rebound in the economy have sparked a substantial increase in advance ticket sales for this year’s festival.
“We’re really excited about the show — we’re bringing back Shawn Klush, one of the top Elvis tribute artists in the world,” he said. “We’re experiencing a serious bounceback in ticket sales and we’re very happy about the numbers.”
One of the reasons for the festival’s enduring popularity is the rapport between the performers and the audience, Sherry said.
“The interaction between the tribute artists and the audience is a main reason why people come back each year,” Sherry said.
In years past, Elvis festival attendees have talked about how they enjoy meeting and socializing with the nationally acclaimed performers.
The venue for such interaction includes the kickoff concert at 7 p.m. Thursday in Shepard Park, the warm-up party that follows from 9 to 11:30 p.m. at Adirondack Pub & Brewery, and the after hours parties — at 11 p.m. Friday at The Boardwalk Restaurant, and at 11 p.m. Saturday at King Neptune’s Pub., Sherry said.
“The performers enjoy getting out of costume and having fun mixing with the audience,” he said.
The first headline show, named “Interpreting Elvis,” is set for 9:30 to 11 p.m. at the Tiki Resort.
Friday’s major show, “Tribute to Rock ‘n Roll history, is set for 8 p.m. at the Lake George Forum. it includes tribute artists impersonating Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison as well as Elvis Presley.
Saturday’s headline show, “Elvis: 35 Years Later” — slated for the same time, same venue — includes artists interpreting Elton John and Neil Diamond. Elvis tribute artist Shawn Klush, crowned the “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist” by the Elvis Foundation, is the featured performer for the Saturday Show. Klush also won the World Elvis Tribute Artist Competition, as well as being named the “World’s Greatest Elvis” in a vote of 6.5 million international viewers on BBC television.
The Lake George festival’s Elvis impersonation competitions are set to occur Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday’s events include the classic car parade at 9 a.m., Elvis cruises aboard the Minne-Ha-Ha at 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. impromptu Elvis performances around the village from noon to 6 p.m., and the Elvis Dinner at Shoreline Restaurant from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday’s events, centered at The Forum, include the Elvis gospel music competition beginning at 9 a.m., the “Ultimate Elvis Wedding” ceremonies at 10:30 a.m., and the 2012 Elvis competition finals and awards from 1 p.m., to 5:30 p.m. A festival wrap-up party is to be held from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday evening at The Boardwalk Restaurant.
The festival box office, open through the end of the week is located at The Forum. the Festival hotline is 681-745. Details on the festival can be found at www.lakegeorgeelvisfest.com