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Elvis Fest expected to draw thousands to Lake George this weekend

An impersonator of ‘The King’ sings a number at the opening concert of the 2009 Lake George Elvis Festival. This year’s edition of the Elvis fest is set to occur from Thursday May 31 through Sunday June 3.The free opening concdrt is to be held Thursday May 30 in Shepard Park, Lake George.

An impersonator of ‘The King’ sings a number at the opening concert of the 2009 Lake George Elvis Festival. This year’s edition of the Elvis fest is set to occur from Thursday May 31 through Sunday June 3.The free opening concdrt is to be held Thursday May 30 in Shepard Park, Lake George. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Long black sideburns, crooning male voices and swiveling hips will be taking over Lake George this weekend as the village hosts the ninth annual Lake George Elvis Festival.

The four-day event, set for Thursday May 30 through Sunday june 3, is centered around a competition of more than 50 Elvis tribute artists and three headline evening concerts.

The festival also features various performances around the village, as well as a classic car parade down Canada St., themed lake cruises, after-hours parties and a sale of Elvis collectibles and merchandise.

Over 4,000 Elvis fans are expected to attend. Festival founder Jason Sherry said May 29 that a strong lineup of talent and a rebound in the economy have sparked a substantial increase in advance ticket sales for this year’s festival.

“We’re really excited about the show — we’re bringing back Shawn Klush, one of the top Elvis tribute artists in the world,” he said. “We’re experiencing a serious bounceback in ticket sales and we’re very happy about the numbers.”

One of the reasons for the festival’s enduring popularity is the rapport between the performers and the audience, Sherry said.

“The interaction between the tribute artists and the audience is a main reason why people come back each year,” Sherry said.

In years past, Elvis festival attendees have talked about how they enjoy meeting and socializing with the nationally acclaimed performers.

The venue for such interaction includes the kickoff concert at 7 p.m. Thursday in Shepard Park, the warm-up party that follows from 9 to 11:30 p.m. at Adirondack Pub & Brewery, and the after hours parties — at 11 p.m. Friday at The Boardwalk Restaurant, and at 11 p.m. Saturday at King Neptune’s Pub., Sherry said.

“The performers enjoy getting out of costume and having fun mixing with the audience,” he said.

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