Have you folks been to an Elvis festival yet? You should try one sometime; they’re a lot of fun. I haven’t visited any of the others, but it’s hard to imagine them being better than the festival at Collingwood, Ontario, two hours north of Toronto, on the banks of the Georgian Bay and ten minutes from the Blue Mountain resort area.
I like the Friday night street concert where over 130 “Elvises” go up on stage and sing one song each. The various competitions are great (those 7 and 8 year old kids are a hoot), and the special shows put on by the really good professional tribute artists give you a first class Elvis experience. I marvel at the ladies going up to the stage to get a scarf and a kiss, and coming back to their seats absolutely thrilled.
But the best thing about the Collingwood Elvis festival for me is the vendor area with those tables of Elvis goodies. This year I asked some vendors to show me their most unusual Elvis items, and here are a few:
A 1962 “Elvis Coloring Contest” sponsored by the movie, “Girls, Girls, Girls.” You colored in the picture based on the film, and mailed it in, and if you won, the prize was free tickets to the movie. Only $5
A 16-inch high cookie-jar shaped like a jukebox. Every time you lift off the top, it plays “All Shook Up.” Very cool. $35, probably negotiable.
A 36” wide bead curtain. This would be perfect for the folks with a whole room devoted to Elvis. The medium was actually not beads, but thin 2”long straw-like tubes. Printed on the tube curtain was a sharp picture of Elvis in the “68 Comeback” black-leather outfit over a background of deep red. Very impressive. A steal at $45.
One last story about the Friday Night Street Concert. The Casino Brothers Band backs everybody for the whole seven hours, so they need breaks every once in a while. However, the show continues with singers performing to Karaoke back-up. One young fellow was getting wound up pretty good when he got to the instrumental bridge, and he yelled out “Play it, James,” although the stage was empty except for him. I love the goofy stuff in Elvis world.
© 2005 Philip R Arnold