Elvis is officially in the building. The annual Georgia Elvis Festival kicked off Thursday and will continue throughout the weekend.
The sixth incarnation of the event, held in and around downtown Brunswick, began with a opening night celebration for ticket holders only at The Blue Door, 1706 2nd St., Brunswick, on Thursday. Today will bring the competition, where Elvis Tribute Artists from around the world square off through song and dance, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Ritz Theatre downtown. Tickets to each day’s competition are $29 each.
At 4:30 p.m. today, ETAs will take to the city’s pocket parks to perform free shows for the public. That evening, at 8 p.m., performers will stage “Elvis: The Next Generation” at the Ritz. It will showcase young, professional ETAs offering their own take on the King’s music. Admission is $50 or included as part of the weekend pass. An after party will follow at Coastal Kitchen on St. Simons Island.
The king-themed fun will continue with competition at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Ritz, followed by 4:30 p.m. performances in the squares downtown. At 8 p.m. that evening, ETAs will share “A Night with Elvis,” featuring Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Jay Dupuis and Dwight Icenhower. Tickets are $50 per person or included in the weekend pass and will be followed by an after party at The Blue Door.
The final day of competition will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday with the Elvis Gospel Event at the Ritz Theater. Tickets are $29. This year’s gospel show will also feature a familiar local face — Dana Meyers, who will perform with the ETAs. A special collection will also be taken for the Special Olympics.
That show will be followed by final day of competition, beginning at 1 p.m., with the 2019 king being crowned that afternoon. Tickets and weekend passes are available at www.georgiaelvisfestival.com.
Terri Futreal expects this year to be another success, both for the performers, attendees and the city as a whole. The public relations representative for Sherry Management, which produces the competition, said the shows draw a number of visitors to the city who always look forward to the weekend’s festivities.
“Brunswick is very much a part of our series and kicks off our festival season. Over 80 percent of our guest are from out of town, who look forward to the artsy, small coastal town,” Futreal said. “It will be an amazing, fun-filled weekend for all with some of the most talented entertainers in the business performing.”