Arts & Leisure

“Follow that Dream” to Elvis Festival Sunday in G. Grove

MARTIN ANTHONY is musical director of the Elvis Festival and a featured performer.

By Jill Lloyd/Special to the Tribune

It’s impossible to choose just one calendar month that defined the King of Rock and Roll’s life, for his road to fame had many milestones.

But it was in October that the 10-year-old Elvis Presley sang  in public for the first time at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. Two of his legendary concerts of the 1950’s also happened in October: The Cotton Bowl in 1956 and the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1957.

These October events were part of Presley’s dream to be an entertainer who would change the music world forever. And that he did as well as inspire others to pursue their dreams.   It is within that light the 22nd Annual Elvis Festival will shine when it returns to Historic Main Street in Garden Grove on Sunday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Themed “Follow that Dream,”  California’s only  all-day tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll  will showcase a myriad of performances and activities honoring the King’s dreams but others’ as well such as in  the “Inspired by Elvis Showcase” which includes  singers who love to sing his songs, but do not aim to look or sound like him. They range in age from 10 years to 65 years and are both male and female.

Among them is 10-year-old Payton Jordan of Anaheim, who attended her first Elvis Festival when she was 3 years old, and her mom Angelina Bernal said “ that’s when she fell in love with Elvis and his music. “  Like Presley at 10, this will be Jordan’s first public singing appearance and plans to belt out Jailhouse Rock.”

Also 46-year-old  Robert Nguyen of Santa Ana is part of the Inspired By set and  will sing “It’s Now or Never” in Vietnamese.   Others include Kassie Bravo, 19 of Anaheim (“Can’t Help Falling in Love”), Scott Bonsangue, 65, of Fullerton (“All Shook Up”); Rudy Gutierrez, 55, of Brea (“All That I Am”) and Kevin Wick, 37, San Fernando (“Kentucky Rain”).

“Elvis lives on through his songs, and we feel it is important to broaden the opportunity for people that love to sing his songs to be part of the Festival. That’s what legacy is all about, “ said Martin Anthony, the Festival’s music director and featured performer.

In addition, Elvis Tribute Artists that aim to combine the moves, the looks and the voice of Presley, will be featured in solo performances covering gospel,  50’s and 60’s and special songs selected to perform with a few hound dogs! The festival will be helping to promote Adopt a Shelter Dog Month with three local rescues participating including Paw Prints in the Sand, The Little Red Dog Rescue and the Orange County Pomeranian Rescue.  Dogs from each rescue will be introduced on stage and serenaded by one of the Elvis singers.

Other guest hound dogs will include  Nellie and Misha, the newest “members” to the Garden Grove Police Department’s  first K9 Support Dog Program.

The King of Cadillacs Car Show will highlight Presley’s “dream car.”  According to  “The King” dreamed of getting a nice, shiny car, and when he finally found success, that’s exactly what he did. And he bought more than one, especially Cadillacs which he bought and gave away to family and friends. But probably the most legendary  was his pink 1954 Fleetwood Series 60 Cadillac.

The show will feature Cadillac passenger cars 1977 and earlier and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Four bands will offer a showcase of their dreams come true and will include  Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies, regulars at Knott’s Berry Farm, performing Elvis songs bluegrass style;  The Decades with Lil Joe Banuelos singing the King’s rock and roll hits from the 50’s and 60’s along with other music legends; Scot Bruce and his band focusing on Elvis in the early years, and a Beatles Tribute Band, the Walrus, with Elvis Tribute Artist James King as the lead singer.

“Elvis sang Beatles songs, and the Beatles sang Elvis’s songs, so this is a great way to bring together music legends that never did get to perform together,” said  Kirk Wall, the Festival’s Ambassador.

In addition to stage entertainment the festival will include Elvis’s fan clubs: Jailhouse Rockers of California and Blue Suede Shoes of California, vendors with memorabilia and collectibles, stilt Elvis and Hound Dog, Abbit the Average Elvis, food trucks with special “Elvis” menu items and Main Street restaurants and merchants.

A gathering of anyone in Elvis themed attire will be held at 11:30 a.m. for a group photo with each participant receiving a free Elvis dream catcher and

Festival admission is free, and parking is available at the Concorde Career College and Coastline College lots adjacent to the event, which is on Main Street between Acacia Parkway and Garden Grove Boulevard.

There are a limited number of paid reserved seats for the stage entertainment and can be purchase online at Eventbrite under 22nd Annual Elvis Festival.

For more information visit the Facebook Page for the Annual Elvis Festival Garden Grove, send an email to or call (714) 267-4657.

2 replies »

Leave a Reply