Tupelo Elvis Festival welcomes visitors from around the world

This is the first time in three years that the popular festival has international guests

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Fans of the King of rock and roll are in Tupelo for a festival honoring that town’s most famous son.

The Tupelo Elvis Festival is back and bigger than ever.

Tupelo Mayor Todd Jordan put on a pair of Elvis sunglasses when he gave a key to the city to last year’s Tupelo Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition winner, Alex Mitchell.

A gala at the Cotton Mill kicked off Elvis Fest 2022.  It’s the first time the festival has been held in person in three years.

“We are so glad that everything is wide open and we’re ready to roll this year,” said Lucia Randle, of the Tupelo Elvis Festival.

A group of female Elvis fans from Louisiana was back, in their spots on the front row as the Thursday afternoon concert kicked off at the BancorpSouth Arena.

Meet the BVDs.

“We’re not men’s drawers, we’re Beautiful, Voluptuous Dolls,” said Beth Trahan.

The BVDs are glad the Tupelo Elvis Festival is back.  In fact,  this is just one of a summer full of Elvis festivals they are attending.

“We have 21 trips this year, Elvis trips, festivals, we’re going every two weeks now,” said Debbie Falgout.

Festival host Tom Brown says Elvis Fans and the tribute artists are especially glad things are in-person again.

“We’re just now starting to realize, that live music was something we missed so much and Elvis is the kind of entertainer that brought people together,” Brown said

“It means the world to us, we went through such a troubling time with Covid, not being able to see our friends and family overseas, our Elvis family felt really empty, so to have them back in the fold, fans and Elvis Tribute Artists alike, it’s incredible, it feels like our family is whole again,” said Elvis Tribute Artist Cote Deonath.

One of the most popular events during the festival is the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition. The first round takes place Friday morning, finals are Saturday night.  The winner represents Tupelo at the international competition in August at Graceland.

There are activities through Sunday for Tupelo’s Elvis Festival.  For a complete list, go to tupeloelvisfestival.com



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