Elvis Lives in Ypsi

Jun 21 2011 in Depot Town Rag by Tim Adkins

Sonic Lunch Presented by Bank of Ann Arbor

“Canton, Michigan’s Chris Ayotte also does impressions of U.S. presidents, famous politicians, sportscasters, and a variety of other celebrities”

Tribute Artists return for Ypsi’s ElvisFest
By Tom Dodd
Thirty-three years after his death, reports of Elvis-sightings continue across the country, but it still seems the best place to spot The King is on the streets of Ypsi’s Depot Town on July 8 and 9.

In 2000, Depot Towners asked permission from Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. in Memphis, TN, to bring what may be the world’s greatest entertainer back to life on a big stage down by the Huron River in Ypsilanti. Over time, locals saw the enormous crowd of fans as a huge draw toward the renovation of their historic neighborhood. Nearly 10,000 attended the 2010 ElvisFest.

When the Depot Town Association and its Community Development Corporation abandoned their sponsorship last winter,  Festival Director Mary Decker picked up the enthusiasm of her loyal volunteers and determined to keep the Michigan ElvisFest alive.  Decker and her followers have re-grouped into a nonprofit entity and will mark the 33rd anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley this month as they continue the ElvisFest here.

Not a contest, but a true concert with spectacular performances from the opening act to the hyperbolic finale, by the best professional Elvis Tribute Artists in North America

The main attractions at Ypsi’s ElvisFest are the Elvis Tribute Artists, but other performers are also featured, including acts in the style of artists such as (singer)Tom Jones and Roy Orbison. Musical attractions of the weekend program include a salute to the military, a children’s area, and a candlelight vigil in memory of the life of Elvis Presley.

The Michigan ElvisFest works closely with Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels, an international organization dedicated to providing food for housebound, often elderly, people. Funds raised by colorful event help people in the Ypsilanti area receive food on a daily basis just as Meals on Wheels has been doing since its inception in London, England during World War II.

The Ypsilanti event brings an ethic of the American South to Riverside Park: talented and dedicated performers, respectful and adoring fans, southern favorites at the food concessions, a laid-back beer tent, activities for the tots, and an attitude of dignity and civility long observed in Ypsilanti’s grasp of history and heritage.

Elvis would be 76 years old today and his fans span four generations as they gather on the grass in Riverside Park for the 12th annual Michigan ElvisFest.

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