Elvis fest includes carnival, two parades

TUPELO – Just as its namesake had a wide variety of interests, the 2009 Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival features more than music.
Downtown Tupelo events will include a pair of parades, a carnival and other activities.
Technically, the celebration will begin Tuesday at the Tupelo Automobile Museum, which will feature posters from all of Elvis’ movies.
You can get a jump on weekend events at 5 p.m. Thursday with the opening of a carnival at the parking lot on Front Street. It’ll open at 5 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday, and you won’t need a festival ticket to attend. (By the way, the Front Street parking lot will close at 6 p.m. today in preparation for the festival.)

Something new
An “Elvis All the Time” area will be set up on Broadway Street on Friday and Saturday.
“We’re going to have merchandise vendors on Broadway Street. That’s new,” said Megan McCarty, marketing and public relations specialist with the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association. “They’ll have hot-dogs by the Civitans out there. Also, they’ll have an inflatable slide.”
In addition, the “Elvis All the Time” area will feature representatives from Elvis Presley Enterprises’ Legacy Project, who will record people’s Elvis stories on Saturday.
Author Peggy Webb will be at the “Elvis All the Time” site from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday to sign copies of her book, “Elvis and the Dearly Departed.”

Time to move
On Saturday, the action will begin with the Running with the King 5K at Veterans Park. Registration will be $20 from 7 to 7:45 a.m. on the day of the race, and you also may register at www.tupeloelvisfestival .com. The race will start at 8 a.m.
Veterans Park will stay busy with the Fling with the King Disc Golf tournament at 10 a.m. Registration will be from 7:30 to 9 a.m., and fees range from $20 to $50. Learn more at discgolf.tupelo.ms.
“At 9 a.m. Saturday, we’ll have a re-enactment of Elvis and Gladys buying his first guitar at Tupelo Hardware,” McCarty said. “There will be another one immediately following the parade.”
Speaking of the parade, it’ll start at 10 a.m. and run down Main Street. Lineup will begin at 9 a.m. at Robins/Nobel Park, and the parade will end at Tupelo’s Fairpark District. There’s no fee to enter, and every entry should include a banner welcoming Elvis home to Tupelo. If you’re interested, contact Donna Oswalt at donna@tupelomainstreet.com by Wednesday.
The Elvis Look-Alike Pet Parade is slated for 11 a.m. on Saturday at North Spring Street, and registration is $10 per pet.
Ladybug’s children’s activities will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday near the Lee County Courthouse.
For more complete information about all the musical and non-musical events at the 2009 Elvis Presley Festival, visit www.tupeloelvisfestival.com.
“We want to invite north Mississippi to come out to enjoy a summer festival filled with entertainment and fun activities,” McCarty said. “Come help us celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

– What: Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival
– When: Thursday to Sunday, June 7
– Where: Downtown Tupelo
– Info: (662) 841-6598, www.tupeloelvisfestival.com
– Extra: From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, a shuttle will make stops at the Lyric Theatre, Tupelo Hardware, the Tupelo Automobile Museum and the Elvis Presley Birthplace and Museum.

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal