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ElvisFest keeps King's memory alive, attendees say

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Updated: 6/07/2013 11:27 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Tupelo's Elvis Festival has the staples of any summertime festival: old-school carnival rides, games that test your skill and a bit of everything fried.

"I was gonna ride the horses, get a funnel cake and play the rides," Shannon student Addison Patton said.

To so many who come from so many parts of the world, though, ElvisFest means something more.

"I come to Tupelo and I can feel [Elvis' spirit here] just like I do in Memphis. Those were his two favorite places in the world, I believe," resident Luther Brackeen said.

In fact, before the festivities kicked off Friday, what could best be described as a room full of "Elvii" filled the Ice House Club in Tupelo.

Twenty-five impersonators got to visit with fans of the King and sing in front of them.

Those who know the King's library of music well say the festival is one of a kind.

"I really think it's the overall experience, because there are so many things going on, you know, if you're an Elvis fan. I think even if you're not an Elvis fan, coming here will make you an Elvis fan," tribute artist Brandon Bennett said.

ElvisFest attracts all types of people, young and old, coming out in the spirit of something the King may not have invented, but certainly propelled into the stratosphere of music history: rock and roll.

D.J. Fontana knows that all too well. He served as Elvis' drummer for more than a decade.

"It's fun. It really is. It's amazing how many people still remember Elvis in a kind way. There's some jerks out there that don't, but we eliminate them," Fontana said with a laugh.

So what would Elvis think if he got to experience the festival?

"I think he's up in Heaven looking at us right now saying 'Shake that leg, baby, shake that leg,'" Florida resident Cathy O'Neal said.

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