(Oct. 31, 2014) The inaugural Elvis Fest drew nearly 500 people, over a three-day period, to the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City last weekend. The winner was Doug Church from Mishawaka, Ind., but he has already qualified to participate in the Elvis Festival in Memphis next summer. The runner up, David Lee from Birmingham, Ala. will be representing Ocean City during the festival. The outcome in Ocean City was the same in Portage, with Church winning and Lee coming in second place.
“The event went fabulously and was a great success. The talent was exceptional, the hotel was a perfect host and the fans are looking forward to coming back next year,” said Jason Sherry, the producer of the Elvis Festival.
Saturday night’s headline concert at the 101st Street hotel, starring Ben Portsmouth and Dwight Icenhower nearly sold out. Everyone had a blast and organizers were proud of the event. It will be a cornerstone in their lineup for years to come, Sherry said.
Elvis Fest featured 20 of the world’s best tribute artists competing to be declared the ultimate Elvis impersonator. The group was narrowed down and only the top 10 competed in Sunday’s finals.
“There were many seasoned guys in attendance and the competition was stiff in Ocean City. I signed up for Portage and Ocean City contests hoping to win one. It was exciting to win both,” Doug Church said.
Church started participating in Elvis competitions when he was in the Air Force. It gave him experience on stage and in front of audiences.
“This was my first time in Ocean City and it was beautiful this time of year. My wife and I had a nice time,” he said.
Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., the company that controls the Presley estate and operates Graceland is the proprietor of the event. In 2007, it started searching for the best representation of Elvis Presley and now the event is held annually.
In addition to Ocean City, Elvis festivals take place in Brunswick, Ga., Lake George, N.Y. Las Vegas, Memphis, Newberry, S.C., and Portage, Ind.
Elvis Fest will return next year to Ocean City, Oct. 23-25, and tickets will go on sale by the end of 2014.
Doug Church of Mishawaka, Ind., performs in the final round Sunday,
during Ocean City’s inaugural Elvis Fest at the Clarion hotel on 101st Street.
Church won the competition.