It’s Friday night. Are you going to go to another half-assed, 10-person summer house party? Or maybe you’re going to pay $9.50 to see another movie?

Phil Dokas
Chris Solano as an Elvis impersonators at Elvisfest. (Courtesy of Elvisfest)

Or you could hop on over to Ypsi to see the Cottonwood Cloggers, a professional performance troupe clogging their hearts out to Elvis tunes.

That’s right. It’s that time of year again. If you close your eyes, you can almost smell the beer and polyester. This weekend, Ypsilanti will play host to more than 10,000 Elvis enthusiasts.

Elvisfest is one of the biggest annual tribute concerts in the United States. Sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., the celebration is now in its seventh year and going strong. This year’s Elvisfest will feature more performances and activities than ever before, including guest appearances by Tribute Artist acts of Cher, Tom Jones, Ray Charles, the Blues Brothers and more.

There will also be a professional performance troupe supporting the Elvis impersonators. The ExSpence Account Showband tours the globe performing behind Elvis Tribute Artists. Formed in the ’70s, this seven-piece ensemble has mastered Elvis’s entire repertoire, and can perform backup for each song in multiple arrangements. You can find detailed information about each of the professional Elvis Tribute Artists on the event’s website at www.mielvisfest.org.

But the weekend is more than just an Elvis impersonating marathon. Elvisfest takes place in Shady Riverside Park, where parents will be happy to note there is no shortage of outdoor activities for the kids. There promises to be something for every age with rock climbing, stilt walkers, arts and crafts, karaoke, magic acts and animal exhibits.

There are higher stakes games for Mom and Dad as well, with an outdoor casino, a classic car show, drinks and a self-proclaimed “best barbeque north of Memphis.”

So come on. It’s now or never. Tickets are $10 for Friday night and $15 on Saturday. Check the Web for discount two-day tickets. Be sure to wear your best Elvis for the costume contest and prepare to get “all shook up” this weekend in Ypsi.

Friday from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday $10
Saturday $15

At Historic Depot Town, Shady Riverside Park

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