Elvis tribute artists show love for that velvet voice in Gimli

Throngs of Elvis fans are descending on Gimli, Manitoba.

Manitoba Elvis Festival runs in Gimli Aug. 8 - 10

Dave Greene will perform as Elvis at the Manitoba Elvis Festival in Gimli. (courtesy Dave Greene)

Throngs of Elvis fans are descending on Gimli, Man.

The 13th annual Manitoba Elvis Festival is taking place all weekend.

Dave Greene of Moosehorn, Man., has been involved with the festival since the beginning as an Elvis tribute artist and now organizer. He first realized he could sing Elvis many years ago when he was singing in a karaoke bar and tried out some Elvis Christmas songs.

"The response was overwhelming," he said.

He says while he can do a pretty good vocal imitation of Elvis, he doesn't exactly look the part.

"I look more like Meatloaf than Elvis."

He did invest in an Elvis costume, however, a black outfit decorated with eagles that he designed himself.

He says his long blond hair makes him the Icelandic Elvis, but he did break down at the festival in Penticton recently and got himself a black wig. His girlfriend coloured his eyebrows and gave him sideburns with her mascara wand.

As for the Elvis moves, "I really give 'er. I don't sit still," he said.

This year's festival is bigger and better than ever with Elvis tribute artists from across the country, including Adam Fitzpatrick of Penticton, B.C., voted second best in the world, Daylin James of Thunder Bay, Ont., Braden Elvis Black of Edmonton and Corney Rempel of Steinbach, Man.

Other Elvii (the plural of Elvis) include Gimli's own Adam Tarnowski and his eight-year-old son Jackson, and Miss Elvis Lee (the female Elvis).

The Manitoba Elvis Festival kicks off with a free show, Karaoke with the Kings, at the Harbour Stage and continues on Saturday and Sunday at the Gimli Recreational Centre.