Elvis spotting: Festival to celebrate the King

The spirit of Elvis returns to Las Vegas — and the very hotel where he performed more than 800 shows — during the Las Vegas Elvis Fest at the Westgate Las Vegas Thursday, July 10 through Sunday, July 14.

The four-day festival, sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., is a celebration of all things Elvis. Events include an official competition, an Elvis collectibles and memorabilia sale, backstage tours of the same showroom where Elvis Presley made history (formerly the Hotel International showroom — now Westgate), and forums with some of the King’s closest friends.

Some highlights of the festival schedule include:

  • Heart of the King: Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest
    When: Round 1, 9 a.m. -2 p.m. Friday; Round 2, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Friday; Semi-Finals, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday; Finals, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday
    The four-day contest features 30 of the world’s top Elvis tribute artists competing for cash, prizes and the Ultimate title in this officially sanctioned contest.
  • Heart of the Kings Award Ceremony and Concert
    When: 8 p.m. Friday
    The ceremony recognizes Elvis tribute artists and producers, and includes performances by a variety of Elvis tribute artists. Award recipients include Dean Z, Ted Torres, Travis Powell, Orion (posthumously) and S. Kay Lipps.
  • Elvis Collectibles and Memorabilia Sale
    When: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday
    Shop for licensed Elvis merchandise, memorabilia from concerts and other unique items.
  • “That’s the Way it Was” starring Shawn Klush
    When: 8 p.m. Saturday
    Ultimate Elvis tribute artist and the BBC’s “World’s Greatest Elvis” Shawn Klush performs a tribute to Elvis’ years in Vegas. His performance re-creates parts of Elvis’ “That’s the Way it Was” concert along with special guests the Sweet Inspirations and the Stamps Quartet.
  • Celebrity & VIP Forum
    When: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
    Hear from a variety of VIPs and celebrities with close ties to The King including “Diamond Joe” Esposito, Elvis’ closest confidant and friend; Cynthia Pepper, Elvis’ co-star in “Kissin’ Cousins”; and DJ Fontana, a drummer in Elvis’ original band.

The festival also includes a welcome reception, additional concerts, an after-hours party and a farewell party. For more information on the festival, including the full schedule and ticket information, please visit www.lasvegaselvisfestival.com or call 1-888-406-5885.

To learn more about Elvis and his Las Vegas legacy, click here.