Everyone put on their Blue Suede Shoes and join the Jailhouse Rockin’ mayhem this weekend, when, for the first time in Ocean City, the Elvis Festival will take place.
The three-day event at The Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel on 101st Street was scheduled to begin Thursday, Oct. 23 and will feature 20 of the world’s best tribute artists competing to be declared the ultimate Elvis.
The Ocean City Elvis Festival is an invitational contest in which participants hope to win the cash prize of $4,200 and the opportunity to represent Ocean City when they travel to Memphis in August to compete for the title against other winners of preliminary contests.
“These performers are fantastic, extremely professional and truly amazing. We are ecstatic to be hosting the Elvis Festival at the Clarion,” said Jackie Berger.
On Friday and Saturday, audiences will see the first and second rounds of the contest. Doors will open at 11 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Each person will perform four songs both days. Half of the group will perform with tracks and the other half with the Change of Habit tribute band.
General admission for Friday will cost $39 and Saturday it will be $59. The top 10 will compete in Sunday’s finals with doors opening at noon. A general admission pass for the entire weekend is available for $109. Depending on availability, passes will be sold at the door on the day of the shows, as well.
Reserved seats will be assigned according to section, which is based on the date and time the reservation is made. The hotel is preparing for a crowd of between 450 and 500 people.
“We are bringing our Elvis Festival to Ocean City because it’s a beautiful town and we do not have any other events held directly on the water,” said Jason Sherry, producer of the Elvis Festival.
“The Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel has been a fabulous partner. We are very excited and it is unique among our events to have attendees, performers and the actual event take place in the same location. It will be intimate and fun for everyone involved,” he said.
The event will have Elvis Tribute artists from previous years to headline the shows and to break up the competition. On Friday, last year’s Pocono Mountains Elvis Festival champion, Michael Chambliss, will entertain the crowd with award-winning Elvis Tribute artist Mark Anthony.
On Saturday, 2012 Elvis Festival winner Ben Portsmouth will be joined with award-winning Elvis Tribute artist Dwight Icenhower. Both nights there will be late-night parties with live music from On the Edge.
On Saturday night, there will be a ‘Spooktacular’ Halloween Costume Ball. Also, on Sunday morning there will be an Elvis Gospel music event held oceanside.
“This is a great event for Ocean City. They discontinued this popular festival in the Poconos and moved it down to the beach. In May, they had a festival in Lake George where 2,000 people attended,” Berger 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.
“Elvis’ music touches a wide variety of people and it’s a privilege to be able to help keep his memory alive by celebrating his life and legacy. Those who have attended our events know that the Elvis Festival is a big family. Those who have not should check it out and see what they are missing,” Sherry said.
In addition to Ocean City, Elvis festivals take place Brunswick, Ga., Lake George, N.Y. Las Vegas, Memphis, Newberry, S.C., and Portage, Ind.
Elvis merchandise will be available at the event from official festival T-shirts to key chains. In addition, CDs, DVDs and other collectibles will be available as well.
To purchase tickets for the event, visit www.oceancityelvisfestival.com or call 1-888-406-5885.