Walt's Look Around: The Tupelo Elvis Festival - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: The Tupelo Elvis Festival

TUPELO, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The second weekend of June isn't his birthday, or the anniversary of his death, but it's just a good time of the year to be in Tupelo and celebrate the event that was Elvis Presley.

Elvis was such a huge sensation that this isn't just a one or even two-day Festival. It's four days of concerts and visiting the birthplace and being in one place at one time with thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of like-minded people from all over the world.  

Tupelo has changed considerably since Elvis stepped onto the stage of the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy show at the fairgrounds in1956. The place was packed, and those iconic images of Elvis working the microphone were snapped that Taylor, Mississippi, sculptor Bill Beckwith used to modeled his bronze creation of Elvis from, that graces Fairgrounds Park today.  

Through out the day, all four days, there are activities; from the pet parade on Saturday morning in downtown Tupelo, where hound dogs of all varieties are displayed, trying to get the judges all shook up, to concerts at night.  

Linda Powell from Morton was there. She pointed out the highlights of the day for us.

"Well you have your Elvis impersonators and you have the concerts and just lots of fun," said Powell. "Everything Elvis."  

Oh yes, the stage of the Lyric Theatre downtown comes alive with the performances of round after round of Elvis impersonator competitions, only they are know at Elvis Tribute Artists.

And this is more than a hobby with some of these guys. They make a living doing this. A GOOD living with motor coaches and roadies and all.  

And the Elvis celebrating goes on into the Tupelo night. The stage down at the fairgrounds rocks with group after group.

The streets are decorated with guitars bolted to the sidewalk and lighted music notes hang from the lamp posts. And the music of street performers drifts down the block sweetening the evening Mississippi air just that much more.  

When Elvis came along, he changed music, and that music changed western culture, really. So no wonder Tupelo has changed drastically from the sleepy little town where Elvis grew up to a progressive city today.

The whole world is a different place since Elvis.

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