An award-winning Elvis tribute artist featured in this year's Lake George Elvis Fest — which begins Wednesday May 29 and continues through Sunday 2 performs for fans of the cultural icon.
Long black sideburns, crooning male voices and swiveling hips will be taking over Lake George this weekend as the village hosts the tenth annual Lake George Elvis Festival.
Memories of rock singer and actor Elvis Presley, a cultural icon, endure in the hearts of millions — and his charisma annually draws thousands of people to Lake George to celebrate his legacy.
The five-day event which starts Wednesday May 29 with a free concert in Shepard Park and continues through Sunday June 2, is centered around a competition of more than 60 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., a themed lake cruise, 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 that this year’s Elvis Festival in Lake George features a strong lineup of talent.
The roster of Elvis impersonators features Ben Portsmouth of Great Britain, Shawn Klush of Pennsylvania and Brandon Bennett of Louisiana —winners of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, an award granted annually by Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Portsmouth has performed in venues across the world, including Rome and Las Vegas. Klush won the Worldwide Elvis Competition in Montreal and has headlined shows in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Each January he stars in the Elvis Birthday Tribute Tour, performing with Elvis’ musicians across the U.S. Bennett has toured the nation with top classic rock and country music artists, as well as starring in the "Elvis Story" in Canada.
The festival also features renowned tribute artists from across the U.S. portraying other classic rock stars: Steve Bobbitt as Rod Stewart, Jesse Aron as Roy Orbison, Dwight Icenhower as Elton John, Ted Torres as Ricky Nelson, Irv Cass as Tom Jones, Robert Washington as James Brown and Tarie Aron as Connie Francis.
The three major shows of the festival are held Thursday, through Saturday evenings in the Lake George Forum on Canada St.
Thursday, the show “Tribute to Rock ‘n’ Roll History” starts at 7 p.m.
Friday at 8 p.m., the featured show is “Elvis Rocks Lake George — Part 1.” Saturday brings Elvis fans the second installment of the Vegas-style performances, beginning at 9 p.m.
The Elvis tribute contest, featuring both amateurs and professionals, is held daily during the festival — round one from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday; round two during the same hours on Saturday; and round three — the competition finals — from 1 p.m.to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Special events include an Elvis After-Hours Party, 11 p.m. Friday at the Boardwalk Restaurant; the Elvis Classic Car parade down Canada St. beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday; Elvis appearances in various venues around Lake George Village from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday; an Elvis lake cruise aboard the Minne-Ha-Ha that leaves the steel pier at 1:30 p.m. Saturday; an Elvis Dinner at 5 p.m. in the Shoreline Restaurant with no cover charge; and an Elvis After Hours Party at 11 p.m. Saturday in King Neptune’s Pub.
Sunday’s activities feature a free Elvis gospel music concert at 9 a.m. Sunday morning in the Lake George Forum followed by an “Ultimate Elvis Wedding” — to which the public is invited free of charge — at 10 a.m. in the same venue.
The Elvis festival concludes with a free wrap-up event 7 p.m. Sunday at the Tiki Resort. For details, see: www.lakegeorgeelvisfest.com.