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Elvis Fest breaking records

LAKE GEORGE With an extra day of activities lined up and an award-winning lineup of tribute artists, the Lake George Elvis Festival this weekend is expected by event organizers to be a rousing success. As of Wednesday, it appeared their expectations were on target. Advance ticket sales were at a record level for this fifth annual festival, and the Saturday night show has been nearly sold out, Elvis Festival Director Jason Sherry said Wednesday. Overall, theres a lot of strong interest in the Elvis Festival, and a great deal of anticipation for this years event, he said, noting that paid admissions are expected to be 20 percent or more above last year. Sherry said two main elements that stimulated the strong advance bookings were that the activities were expanded to four days and the Lake George shows headliner Shawn Klush had received a top international award for his work. Sherry said Klush was named the ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist in 2007 in a competition held in Memphis by Elvis Presley Enterprises and hes the top featured artist in Saturday nights Aloha concert at the Lake George Forum. Ticket sales are way ahead of last year, and people are coming in from all over the country, Sherry said. Its exciting that in the fifth year of the festival, were still growing substantially every year. Once again, the festival features a weekend-long Elvis tribute artist competition, in which performers compete in three categories: professionals, non-professionals, and youth. The artists are judged by a panel of musicians, music professors, Elvis fan club presidents and radio and television personalities. More than $8,000 is to be awarded to the champions. This year's top show Aloha from Lake George recreates the famous Aloha from Hawaii concert and stars Klush. Friday nights presentation 40 Year Comeback honors the 40th anniversary of Elvis 1968 comeback television special and celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Lake George Elvis Festival by bringing back last year's champion Robert Washington. Weekend events: (See full schedule available at the Lake George Forum, the events main venue, for various Elvis appearances and concerts during the weekend throughout the village .) Friday, May 30, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: Round 1, Elvis competition; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Elvis Memorabilia Show & Sale; 8:30 p.m.: "40th Anniversary Comeback" show; 11 p.m. - 2 a.m.: After Hours at the Boardwalk Restaurant; Saturday, May 31, 9 a.m.: Elvis Classic Car Parade: 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.: Round 2, tribute artist competition; 8:30 p.m.: headliner show, "Aloha from Lake George;" 11 p.m. - 2 a.m.: After hours at King Neptune's Pub; Sunday, June 1, 9 a.m.: Gospel Service; 1- 4 p.m.: Finals of tribute artist competition; 7 p.m. - midnight: Festival Wrapup Party on Steel Pier.

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