Additional day added to 2007 Elvis Presley festival

Published 7:41 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Concerts, an artist contest and a number of other events are planned during the extended May 31-June 3 Elvis Presley Festival — a hometown salute to the King of Rock ’n’ Roll.

Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, announced during a Monday meeting of the E-Club that the 2007 festival would have more to offer. The E-Club party at the BancorpSouth Conference Center was held on what would have been the Tupelo native’s 72nd birthday.

“We’ve expanded the festival to Thursday evening with an old-fashioned street party,” Brangenberg said.

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Officials said the street party will feature performances by Sonny Burgess and the Pacers and the Tiptops, as well as Dean Vegas, an Elvis tribute artist from Australia.

During Friday’s festival day, tribute artists will spend the day competing to see who gets to represent Tupelo at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis during Elvis Week, Aug. 11-17.

That Saturday’s events will include a pair of tribute artists performing with the Sweet Inspirations and D.J. Fontana, and a Sunday gospel show will feature the Landmarks and Donny Blackwood and the Imperials.

Headliners for the concerts on June 1-2 will be released later.

Members of the E-Club got to experience David Lee as he channeled Tupelo’s favorite son. He wandered the center in a white “Inca gold” jumpsuit, and sang “In the Ghetto,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Love Me” and others.

“I’m handing out scarves to the ladies,” Lee said. “I don’t give out scarves to the men.”