For nearly half of the four decades since his death, The King has been celebrated annually, passionately if tongue-in-cheekily in Garden “Graceland” Grove with loving and joyful commemoration timed to mark his mid-August 1977 passing. Elvis Aaron Presley lives and dies on in this day-long free civic hullabaloo with his songs done bluegrass-style, harp and accordion tributes, impersonators galore, Elvis fan club presentations, a stilt-walking Elvis and Priscilla duo, memorabilia and collectibles and Elvis-themed jewelry and accessories for sale, Elvis Bingo, and a Dunka Dunka Burning Love Dunk Tank. Touchingly, the 20th Annual Elvis Festival is sponsored in part by two area mortuaries.
More info from the organizer:
The 20th Annual Elvis Festival returns to Historic Main Street in Garden Grove on Sunday, August 25, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Festival, the only event of its kind in California, brings together his music, impersonators, fan clubs, Cadillacs and all things Elvis for a daylong tribute to the King of Rock and Roll near the anniversary of his death (August 16, 1977).
The event highlights include a full slate of Elvis tribute artists performing throughout the day including Kirk Wall of Anaheim, the Festival’s ambassador since its inception as well as award winning entertainers Martin Anthony singing gospel hits, duets with Erika Boychenko as Ann Margret and Lisa Marie Presley and other favorites and James King on piano and guitar with a variety of the legend’s most beloved songs.
Wall and his band Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies will present a set of Elvis songs bluegrass style along with a special tribute to the Beatles. He will also serve as the officiant for the wedding vows of longtime Elvis fans, Sylvia Ronquillo and Jesse Nava of Yorba Linda held at 12:30 p.m. during the Festival.
Returning for the third year to cap off the day is Scot Bruce and his band with The Early Years of the King of Rock and Roll.
New this year is a set titled “The Inspiration of Elvis” featuring performances by non-Elvis looking vocalists singing Elvis songs ranging from ages 6 to 70 years. In addition, harpist Elizabeth Huston and accordionist Gee “Gigi” Rabe will perform instrumental versions of Elvis songs and will also accompany vocal numbers for Boychenko and Anthony respectively.
In addition, the event highlights Presley’s love for cars, particularly Cadillacs, with King of Cadillacs Car Show for passenger cars dating up to 1977 sponsored by the Shark Squad Motorcycle Attorneys. One of his other interests: motorcycles, will be featured in the Hound Dog Motorcycle Ride presented by Lifestyle Cycles.
Ken Sharp, a New York Times Best Selling writer who has authored or co-authored over twenty music books, will be at the Festival signing and selling two of his limited-edition books he wrote about Elvis Presley: Elvis: Vegas ’69 and Elvis Presley: Writing for the King.
Other activities include Elvis Fan Clubs including the Jailhouse Rockers of California and Blue Suede Shoes of California, stilt walking Elvis and Priscilla, memorabilia and collectibles, Elvis Bingo, Abbit the Average Elvis, rockabilly caricature artist, Elvis themed jewelry and accessories, a Dunka Dunka Burning Love Dunk Tank presented by the Assistance League of Garden Grove and TraumOne and a special appearance by Tanya Lemani, the belly dancer in the “Little Egypt Guitar Man production number from Elvis’s 1968 “Comeback “TV special.
There will be special Elvis menu items from food trucks including Elvis cupcakes, Elvis themed ice cream flavors 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, an Elvis favorite, on the menu during the Festival.
Admission and parking are free. Limited reserved stage seating available at additional cost.
The Festival on Historic Main Street is located between Garden Grove Blvd. and Acacia Parkway in Garden Grove. Use the address of 12911 Main Street, Garden Grove on GPS or other map/directions locators. Parking is available at adjacent lots of Concorde and Coastline College.
More information and complete schedule is available on Facebook by locating the 20th Annual Elvis Festival page, or by sending an email to email@example.com or calling 714-267-4657.
The Festival is made possible in part by presenting sponsors Fairhaven Memorial Services of Mission Viejo, Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary of Santa Ana and Dimond Shannon of Garden Grove and the support of the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association and the Garden Grove Community Foundation.