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Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014

Celebrate your favorite Elvis memory at Plant City festival

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PLANT CITY A July 20 festival will celebrate everything Elvis - from memorabilia to performers who look and sound like The King.

The 11th annual Elvis Tampa Bay Festival/Contest will have as its theme "Aloha from Hawaii," the name of one of Presley's most famous concerts.

The festival being staged by an area fan club

will feature a recreation of portions of the internationally-broadcast 1973 Elvis concert, complete with a hula dancer and swooning fans.

The celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the expo hall on the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds, 2301 W. Oak Ave.

"It will be about everything Elvis," said Vickie May, president of the Elvis Tampa Bay TCB (Taking Care of Business) Fan Club.

The centerpiece of the festival will be an Elvis tribute artist competition. The winner goes on to compete in August in Memphis, Tenn. against top performers from around the world.

The preliminary competition in Plant City will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The finals will be from 6 to 8 p.m.

Elvis tribute artists Ted Torres and Jerome Jackson will perform from 3 to 6 p.m.

The day also includes vendors selling Elvis merchandise, a food vendor, and a silent auction to benefit the Children's Home of Tampa Bay, May said.

May thinks Elvis, who died in 1977, continues to be popular due to his music and showmanship. Last year's Elvis festival drew 21 tribute artists and 400 spectators.

She hopes this year's festival is even larger. She moved the event from the Tampa area, where it was founded, because the strawberry festival's expo hall was a larger venue.

"It's a lot of work but every year it gets better and better," May said.

VIP tickets which include all the day's events, reserved seats and a meet and greet with the tribute artists cost $30 in advance.

General admission tickets are $10 for each of the three competitions/performances of the day, or $25 for all the day's festivities.

Tickets will be sold at the door.

For tickets, a schedule or information, call (813) 977-6011, email elvistampatcb@yahoo.com or go to www.ElvisTampatcb.com.

Twitter: @dnicholsonTrib

dnicholson@tampatrib.com

(813) 394-5103

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