No one celebrates Elvis Presley like his hometown Tupelo, Mississippi. Anytime you visit the town, tours are available at Elvis’s birthplace and museum.
But if you are captivated by his story and are looking for entertainment, history, and sense of community, the annual Tupelo Elvis Festival is five days dedicated to all that and more.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the fest, which is celebrated from June 6-10 to kick off summer and pay tribute to Elvis and his legacy in music. Each year, some events change in order to make room for the new, but always circle back to honoring the King. The 2018 schedule for the festival is packed with events sure to capture the interests of all.
- The first two days of the festival this year begin with concerts by Elvis tribute performers on the Elvis Presley Birthplace stage.
- Different local and international musicians, such as Montgomery Gentry, Little Big Town, B.B. King, Trent Harmon, J Roddy Walston and the Business, have performed at the same location that Elvis did during his 1956 Homecoming concert.
- The Elvis Impersonator competition has 21 participants this year who go through 3 rounds of competition in the hopes to be deemed the best impersonator.
Art and History
- New this year, the festival invites the community to watch Elvis’s documentary, Homecoming, from the lawn of his birthplace—an opportunity you can only get in Tupelo, that places you in the heart of the documentary.
- ARCY, a well-known spray paint artist and muralist will be live painting a building in town and all are invited to watch his art take form right in front of you.
Parades, 5Ks, and pageants oh my!
- Tupelo recreates Elvis’s iconic 1956 Homecoming Parade, through ’50s-style concerts, classic cars, and a huge crowd.
- The “Queen for a King” Pageant is an opportunity for women in a variety of age groups to compete for the crown of Miss Tupelo Elvis Festival. All applicants are welcome and will have the ability to participate in the Homecoming Parade, too.
- Running with the King is a 5K Race that donates its proceeds to local organizations, such as the North-East Mississippi Boys and Girls Club.
These main events only scratch the surface of all the other Elvis related activities that the Tupelo Elvis Festival has to offer. Tupelo’s welcoming sense of community, music, and rich history draws in tourists from all over.
For more fun summer festivals, visit www.americanlifestylemag.com/discover.