By Caroline Fontein
The Elvi have left the building, and they’re heading out to Fremont Street. This weekend downtown Vegas is all about pompadours, sideburns and bedazzled jumpsuits. If you’re hoping to experience an Elvis sighting in Vegas, get ready for an eyeful.
On May 6 and 7, Fremont Street will be home to the Second Annual Las Vegas Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. The contest will take place both nights from 8 p.m. to midnight on the 3rd Street Stage. A parade of Elvi will commence each night’s competition so have your cameras handy.
Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE) and the tribute artist production “Legends in Concert” are hosting the event. The Vegas contest is the preliminary round for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest that takes place every year during Elvis Week in Memphis, Tenn. The winner of the Vegas contest qualifies to compete in the Memphis competition for a grand prize package including the title of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist 2011.
Vegas contestants will be judged on the best ‘representation of the Elvis legacy’ in talent, appearance, performance, stage presence and overall tribute. Judges will consist of Vegas industry experts as well as individuals who were instrumental in Elvis’ life.
Fans of all ages are invited to come out and watch as Elvis hopefuls shake, rattle and roll their way through the competition. VIP seating for both nights will be offered directly in front of the stage for $20. VIP seating is limited and available on a first come first serve basis.
In addition to the competition, fans can get their photo with “Elvis” today from 3 – 4 p.m. at Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel Million Dollar display and Saturday from 3-4 p.m. at Four Queens’ free pull machine located at the east entrance.
Tonight, immediately following the competition, Binion’s is hosting an after-party including Elvis karaoke, special guests from the competition and live Elvis ice sculpting. Now that’s cool. On Saturday night fans can sing like the King on the Main Street stage immediately after the event with more Elvis karaoke.
The festivities also include an appearance by the 2010 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Justin Shandor. Last year he won the competition on Fremont Street and went on to win the final competition. Shandor proved that what happens in Vegas can lead to Memphis. Only time will tell who among this year’s contestants will be crowned the King of Kings.