GG Elvis Festival coming up; Knott’s regular performer will be a part

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The 19th annual Elvis Festival returns to Historic Main Street in Garden Grove on Sunday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Themed “Always On Our Minds,” the festival, the only event of its kind in California, brings together Elvis Presley fans and tribute artists who emulate the King of Rock and Roll in an all-day tribute near the anniversary of Presley’s death—Aug. 16, 1977.

Though it has been nearly 40 years since his death, his devotees continue to show their undying love for the king and keep his legacy alive. Local Elvis fan clubs including the Jailhouse Rockers of California and the Blue Suede Shoes Club maintain a steady calendar of gatherings, concerts and dedicated events including the annual Elvis Festival.

The Festival will bring together a myriad of activities to honor the king.

Kirk Wall of Anaheim, the Festival’s ambassador since its inception returns to entertain and greet attendees. He sings like the king in traditional format but also brings his fiddle playing and country roots to the stage performing Elvis songs bluegrass style with his band Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies, regulars at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Other headliner Scot Bruce of Los Angeles and his band perform “The Early Years” of Presley’s rock and roll hits.

Other performances will cover the various eras of Presley’s career from the 1950s to the 1970s including Grammy winning gospel hits, songs from Elvis movies and a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the 1968 comeback special.

A special musical story titled “Sun to Heaven” produced by award winning tribute artist Martin Anthony of Murrieta, will highlight members of the Elvis fan community who have died. Other Elvis singers will participate in this set sponsored by Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary, part of the Dignitary Memorial network that owns the Memphis Funeral Home which provided services for Memphis’ most famous musician.

“Their saying is ‘life well celebrated,’ which is fitting for the annual event,” Wall said. “While the festival is always held near the anniversary of Elvis’ death, it’s really about celebrating his life and legacy. He continues to inspire and entertain even though he has been gone nearly 41 years.”

Additional tribute artists performing include James King of Westminster, Elvis Pham of Simi Valley, Dave Hoover of Las Vegas, Lloyd Aron Douglas of Costa Mesa, Brad Carrow of Rancho Cucamonga, Donovan Chavez of Pomona and Sean Martin of Cypress.

While there will never be another Elvis, Tina Altman, president of the Jailhouse Rockers of California, an Elvis fan club said, “Each tribute artist has something different that stands out. Each bring out an aspect of Elvis. And they are what helps keep Elvis’ memory alive.”

It has been estimated that there are over 85,000 Elvis impersonators in the world.

In addition, the event highlights Presley’s love for cars, particularly Cadillacs, with the King of Cadillacs Car Show for passenger cars dating up to 1977. One of his other interests, motorcycles, will be part of a new event this year: The Hound Dog Motorcycle Ride and Bike Show presented by Lifestyle Cycles and is in conjunction with a fundraiser to support Patriots and Paws, an organization that provides service dogs for veterans.

Other activities include a Portraits of Elvis Gallery Show and Contest at Black Umbrella Tattoo and Art Gallery, stilt-walking Elvis and Priscilla, memorabilia and collectibles, Elvis Bingo and Bake Walk, Abbit the Average Elvis, rockabilly caricature artist and photo booth.

There will be special Elvis menu items from food trucks such as The Elvis Cupcake by Dreamy Creations, a two-time winner of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network, along with the variety of restaurants and shops. Among the restaurants is Azteca Restaurant known for its Elvis-themed atmosphere with movie posters, photos and memorabilia donning the walls and the ceiling. Next door is Kaye’s Kitchen, which will feature a Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich on the menu during the festival.

Admission and parking are free. Limited VIP stage seating is available at additional cost.

The Festival on Historic Main Street is located between Garden Grove Boulevard and Acacia Parkway in Garden Grove. Use the address of 12911 Main St., Garden Grove on GPS or other map/directions locators. Parking is available at adjacent lots of Concorde and Coastline College.

More information is available on Facebook by locating the 19th Annual Elvis Festival page, by sending an email to elvisfestival@yahoo.com or calling 714-267-4657.

The Festival is made possible in part by the support of the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association and the Garden Grove Community Foundation.

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