Downtown streets close as Elvis Festival nears

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Streets are already closed in advance of this weekend’s 15th annual Tupelo Elvis Presley Festival.
The Front Street lot closed last Friday to make way for the carnival. Troy Street from South Commerce to Fairpark and parking lots on the east side of South Commerce Street closed Tuesday.
Court Street from Broadway to the city court building closed Wednesday, and South Commerce Street from Main to Troy Streets will close on Friday.
Most of the streets will reopen Sunday, except Court Street, which will reopen Monday.
The festival begins today at 3 p.m. with the unveiling of the 11th marker on the Elvis Driving Tour at Music Bend Nature Trail at 99 North Veterans Blvd.
A sold-out concert featuring Elvis tribute artists Victor Trevino Jr. and Bill Cherry is at the Lyric tonight, followed by a free Elvis tribute artist open mic on the Broadway outdoor stage.
The first round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist preliminary competition begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Lyric Friday and is sold out.
The Fairpark concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday with Elvis tribute artist Brandon Bennett. Rock band Cowboy Mouth headlines.
There’s a sold-out tribute artist concert, featuring Kevin Mills, at the Lyric on Friday, too. The concert will be simulcast outside the Lyric, and tickets are available for that.
The Running with the King 5k is at Veterans Park at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the Pet Parade at 9 a.m. on Broadway.
A tribute artist panel is at 10 a.m., followed by the second round of the tribute artist competition, and both of those events are sold out.
Gates open for the Fairpark concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, with performers including Montgomery Gentry, Skylar Laine and Surviving Allison.
A sold-out tribute artist concert is at 7 p.m. Saturday, and it will also be simulcast.
The festival wraps on Sunday with a “Ultimate Gospel for the Soul” brunch at the Lyric, and Shawn Klush, The Landmarks and Tupelo Unity Choir will perform. Tickets are $25.
For a complete schedule and more information, visit tupeloelvisfestival.com or call (662) 841-6598.