Friday, 15 June 2012

The Elvis Festival

The hard working Elvis Festival planners, deep in planning.

    It started so many years ago, there was an Elvis siting in Tweed.  It became a funny little joke that put our sleepy little farm village on the map.  Anywhere we would go when people found out I was from Tweed it would be either "Where's that?", or "Say hi to Elvis for me."  A few years ago Tweed was put on the map once again.  News crews from around the world descended upon our close knit community, and this time it was not cute, or funny.  Russell Williams for a time, left an ugly scar on our community, as he left scars on so many.  When people heard that I was from Tweed it was no longer Elvis that they asked about.  "Did you ever meet him?"  "Do you know any of the people involved".  Those questions felt dirty, not funny.  
    Last year a dedicated group came together and brought Elvis back to Tweed, hopefully putting a layer of dust over Russell Williams.  I think that we can all agree that we would rather be known for Elvis rather than a serial killer in our midst.  They put hundreds of hours into convincing everyone that it was a great idea, and hundreds of hours into planning.  Their reward,  last year's Elvis Festival was a HUGE success.  Thousands flocked to see those hunk a hunk of burning love impersonators.  That week-end was a lot of fun even for those not attending the actual event.  Every few feet, or so it seemed was a different incarnation of Elvis.  Some of them were even giving free concerts.  You could feel the happy buzz throughout the village.  It was like an electrical charge.
    This year Grace's Jazz ensemble was asked to help at the festival in exchange for some much needed revenue.  The Jazz band parents were asked to volunteer.  It is actually a pretty sweet deal.  We help out at the festival for two, three hour shifts and in return our jazz band receives funds and we receive free passes for the week-end.  I signed Gracie and I up to sell Elvis merchandise, how hard can it be.  I think that it will be a lot of fun.

Volunteers going over jobs.
        I am not a real Elvis fan.  I think that the man had talent and was a pioneer in rock and roll.  I think that he blazed the trail for today's Justin Bieber.  Maybe my neutrality is a form of rebellion (my mother loved Elvis).  Having said all of this... I am looking forward to this years festival.  I went to a volunteer meeting last night, and they were talking about the various events for this years festival.  The theme for this year is "Aloha Tweed".  They are paying homage to Elvis in Hawaii.  There are going to be Polynesian dancers, fire dancers and everything.
    If you are an Elvis fan, then you may want to circle August 24 - 26 on your calendar.  If you are there on Sunday, come and say hi, I'll be the person looking frazzled and giving out the wrong change at the merchandise area.

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