By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Set up has already started for this year’s Tupelo Elvis Festival.
Streets around downtown Tupelo began closing on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a few more scheduled to shut down on Friday to prepare for the festivities.
Parts of Front, Troy, Broadway, Court and Commerce streets were blocked off earlier in the week, and sections of Broadway and Court streets will shut down Friday at 5 p.m. and a part of South Commerce Street will shut down at 4 p.m. Friday.
All of the streets will open back up on Sunday.
The Fairpark stage was set up on Wednesday, and the fencing was placed around Fairpark on Tuesday, said Allie West with the festival.
The festival kicks off Thursday with a concert at The Lyric by Elvis Tribute Artist winner Kevin Mills and Sonny Burgess & the Legendary Pacers with DJ Fontana. The show is sold out, but fans can watch a simulcast outside for $10.
The events continue throughout the weekend with Elvis tribute artist concerts and competitions at The Lyric, concerts at Fairpark on Friday and Saturday nights and a Sunday gospel concert. Country stars Little Big Town, Randy Houser and David Nail are performing at the Fairpark concert Saturday.
There will also be a carnival, pet parade, 5k, disc golf tournament and more.
“Everything we do is rain or shine,” West said.
Tupelo singer-songwriter Paul Thorn, who headlines the festival’s Fairpark concert on Friday night, will be on SuperTalk on Thursday at 4 p.m. Fans can stop by the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau to visit with Thorn and get free CDs, food and drinks.
• Already closed:
Front street lot (east side of Front Street)
East Troy Street (South Commerce-Fairpark Drive in front of City Hall)
Some parking on east side of South Commerce Street (Main-Troy)
Broadway Street (Jefferson-Court Streets, with some handicap spaces left open for the Courthouse)
Court Street (Broadway-City Court Building)
• Closing Friday:
Broadway Street (Main-Court Streets) and Court Street (Spring-Broadway)
South Commerce Street (Main-Troy)