California’s only Elvis Festival returns to honor all things we love about the King of Rock and Roll.
GARDEN GROVE, CA, August 28, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — He may have “left the building” for the last time August 16, 1977, but Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll is still very much alive in the hearts and minds of his fans.
And all things Elvis and then some will come together once again during the 22nd Annual Elvis Festival on Sunday, October 9, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Historic Main Street in Garden Grove, home of the iconic Elvis themed Azteca Mexican restaurant.
Since Presley’s death 45 years ago Presley has continued to be honored, celebrated and emulated and at California’s only Elvis Festival it comes with the approach not just to impersonate the world’s biggest rock and roll music legend, but to present his inspirational legacy that comes in many forms. This year’s theme “Follow That Dream” (an Elvis movie and song title) captures that intent as the Festival showcases Elvis tribute artists as well as an Inspired by Elvis Showcase for singers who don’t look, act or sing like him, but are aspiring to follow their own music path.
In addition, the Festival brings together a bevy of Cadillacs (Presley’s favorite car) for passenger cars from 1977 and earlier, memorabilia and collectibles, handmade inspired by Elvis crafts and artsy creations, Hound Dogs, Elvis themed foods, fan clubs Jailhouse Rockers of California and Blue Suede Shoes of California and a myriad of booths, merchants and restaurants celebrating Presley in their own way.
The combination of entertainment and activities includes four bands featuring Wall along with his band Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies, regulars at Knott’s Berry Farm, performing Elvis songs bluegrass style; The Decades with Lil Joe Banuelos singing the King’s rock and roll hits from the 50’s and 60’s along with other music legends; Scot Bruce and his band focusing on Elvis in the early years, and a Beatles Tribute Band, the Walrus, with Elvis Tribute Artist James King as the lead singer.
Other performances will include multi-award-winning talent of Martin Anthony singing gospel hits, other solo Elvis tribute artists, along with an Inspired by Elvis Showcase of six singers ranging in ages 10 to 65 years old. They include Robert Nguyen of Santa Ana, who will sing in Vietnamese.
“It’s our goal to expand the repertoire of performances and activities that don’t just copy him but show the many ways Elvis has inspired people to follow their own dreams and passions,” said Kirk Wall of Anaheim, the Festival’s Ambassador since its inception. Now 65 years old, he has ditched the traditional Elvis pomp hairstyle that he had to constantly dye, to letting his gray grow out while adding a bit of other color, which is currently blue.
Sandi Binder of Laguna Niguel and current president of the Blue Suede Shoes of California fan club, commented on the fact Presley’s legacy has lived on more years than he was alive. “He didn’t think he would be remembered at all, ” she said. But along with the recent release of the Elvis movie she said “our parents and grandparents have had a lot to do with keeping his memory alive along with the many Elvis tribute artists. It’s great to see so many young people showing interest and also becoming ETAs. But along with being a great singer and entertainer, he is remembered for being a wonderful humanitarian.”
While the Blue Suede Shoes’ monthly fan club meetings often feature Elvis singers they exist as well to emphasize Presley’s generosity too and raise funds to support local children’s organizations such as Olive Crest, and the Illumination Foundation, which helps provide services to prevent homelessness. They also donate to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, one of the many charities Presley supported.
“We are here for the love of Elvis and to do charitable things,” Binder said.
The Festival follows that thinking as well, and this year in honor of real “Hound Dog” will be honoring the National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month in October(extending it to include local rescue organizations) seeking adoption or fostering for a variety of canines. Rescues at the event include Paw Prints in the Sand, The Little Red Dog Rescue and the Orange County Pomeranian Rescue. Dogs from each rescue will be introduced on stage and serenaded by one of the Elvis singers.
Co-authors Peter Valdez and Tasche Laine have partnered with the Orange County Pomeranian Rescue with their book Small Things, Lil Peter, Make A Big Difference, about a boy wanting to foster a rescue puppy. They will be selling the book at the Festival with all proceeds going to this rescue.
In honor of Presley’s deep love and respect for law enforcement, the Garden Grove Police Department’s first K9 Support Dog Program will be at the Festival all day with comfort dogs Nellie and Misha in a booth to create awareness, education and raise funds for The John Reynolds Youth Support Foundation which supports the Paws4Students Organization and funds this K9 program.
The Garden Grove Veteran’s Organization will be recognizing Presley’s military service to our country and provide information on the city’s Veteran’s Day event.
Dignity Memorial™ is returning as the presenting sponsor and will feature an Elvis Life Story display. Participating Dignity Memorial locations include Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary, Santa Ana; Fairhaven Memorial Services, Mission Viejo and Dimond Shannon Mortuary, Garden Grove, and are part of the network, which also owns the Memphis Funeral Home that handled Elvis Presley’s arrangements.
Festival admission is free, and parking is available at the Concorde Career College and Coastline College lots adjacent to the event, which is on Main Street between Acacia Parkway and Garden Grove Blvd.
The Festival is presented by the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association with the support of the Garden Grove Community Foundation.
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