I am just winding down from our 6th annual Windsor Elvis Fest. My voice is hoarse and my legs tired from spending the weekend as part of a dedicated group of volunteers who put on another great event. But - its a "good" tired. My role as Entertainment Coordinator is always rewarding and I am so proud to be a member of a team that made this weekend so perfect. Their hard work over a year of planning and a final week of intense preparation followed by three days of execution should not be underestimated. Many team members were staff from the Centres For Seniors who volunteered countless hours to ensure we achieved a fantastic result.
Two dozen excellent Elvis Tribute Artists from as far away as Florida and the premier Elvis Band in the world, The EAS Band from Chicago, put on an exciting series of performances starting with a street party Friday night coordinated by Norm Ackland and continuing Saturday with an outstanding car show produced every year by Karen And John Pluck. On Saturday the fans enjoyed the preliminary competition during the day and a fantastic Hawaii themed showcase Saturday night starring James Gibb and Darrin Hagel, two of North Americas leading Tribute artists.. Sunday morning started off with the wonderful strains of gospel music from our very own Elvis Gospel Choir led by James Gibb. In the afternoon the finals of the competition produced dazzling performances by 16 tribute artists including several world champions who graced the stage of the Capitol Theatre.
Everyone was a winner. Tim Hendry from London, Ontario was our Grand Champion in the professional division. Windsor's own Kevin Bezaire was the winner in the non professional concert years. The non professional early years winner was Matt Dowsett from Belleville, Ontario. Jake Slater from Bellaire, Michigan will represent Windsor at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition in Memphis this summer.
For more details visit www.windsorelvisfest.com.
Our team leader, Ellen Hope, worked almost full-time as a volunteer managing a complex event that a paid employee would have been challenged to match (and I must say looked great in her poodle skirt when we finally got her on stage to present the awards.)
I hope that our community appreciates the efforts of volunteers who work so hard and bring economic value in the way of visitors to our area and so much fun for our own residents.
Hats off to The Centres For Seniors for producing Windsor Elvis Fest.
by Richard Rosenthal