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 It's Now Or Never For Impersonators

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charmainejensenvoisine

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PostSubject: It's Now Or Never For Impersonators   Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:47 am

By LENORA LAKE
Tribune correspondent

Published: July 16, 2008

UNIVERSITY AREA - Twenty Elvis Presley impersonators, vying for a spot in an international competition of tribute artists, are expected to rock the University Area Community Center on Saturday.

The sixth annual Tampa Elvis Festival/Contest, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., will feature a music competition, stage show, vendors selling Elvis collectibles, food and drinks.

The event, honoring the rock 'n' roll performer who died in 1977, previously was held outdoors as a three-day festival on the Franklin Street Mall and at Channelside Bay Plaza and was co-sponsored for five years by the city of Tampa.

This year, the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department is the co-sponsor, along with the Elvis Tampa Bay Fan Club, of the one-day event.

Vickie Mays, president and founder of the 5-year-old fan club, is organizing the event.

"The city dropped out because of budget cuts," Mays said.

Mays, a north Tampa resident, had been a volunteer with the event for four years and said she didn't want to see it lose its momentum by taking a year off. She recruited the county department as a co-sponsor and businesses as donors.

She said the change also seemed like an opportunity to move it indoors, as "my guys participants got hot in those outfits."

The event is a preliminary to the international Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest held in Memphis, Tenn., each August.

For Saturday's event, the 20 participants will compete in the first round at 11 a.m., and six will be chosen for the final competition at 7 p.m. The winner will represent Tampa in the Memphis event.

The festival also will feature the Elvis in Tampa Sock Hop at 4 p.m., celebrating Presley's concerts in Tampa in 1955, 1956, 1970 and 1975.

"We call it a sock hop, but it is more a stage production, with a re-creation of the jackets he wore in the 1950s and the leisure suits of the 1970s," Mays said.



IF YOU GO

WHAT: Tampa Elvis Festival/Contest

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: University Area Community Center, 14013 N. 22nd St.

HOW MUCH: Admission for ages 16 and older is $10 for each round of the competition or the sock hop, or $25 for all day; half price for ages 5 to 15; and free for ages 4 and younger.

INFORMATION: Call (813) 977-6011 or visit www.geocities.com/elvistampatcb



Article Source: http://northeast2.tbo.com/content/2008/jul/16/ne-its-now-or-never-for-impersonators
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