- Associated Press - Thursday, March 13, 2014

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) - The King is back in town, and he will be popping up around Brunswick in his white-studded suit the next several days.

In fact, it won’t be just the King, but the Kings, as the four-day Georgia Elvis Festival continues through Sunday. It kicked off Friday at Mary Ross Waterfront Park in Brunswick. The ultimate goal — along with a good time — is the crowning of the best Elvis Presley impersonator in Georgia.

Elvis tribute artists, as they call themselves, their personal followings and Elvis fans, in general, will again be staying at Glynn County motels, eating in its restaurants and shopping in its stores.

The reprise performance after the past year’s gathering in Brunswick, business owners and tourism managers are hoping, will be, as Elvis sang 60 years ago, “Good Rockin’ Tonight.”

“Certainly, we have a lot of folks that come in from out of town, and it’s an impressive roster of folks that come from really all over to join this festival,” said Scott McQuade, executive director of the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We not only get the benefit of visitors coming to our area and getting familiar with it, but they bring friends, family and others along.”

McQuade considers the past year’s festival to have been quite successful as an inaugural event, and anticipates this year’s to be as popular, if not more so.

“It’s probably not at the stage where it creates a tidal wave (of attendance) yet, but it creates a ripple, and that’s how things get started. The more unique an event, the more opportunity you have to draw people to it,” McQuade said.

“This is not something you find in every community. It certainly creates a great event that draws people to Brunswick and the downtown area.”

Downtown shop and restaurant managers are ready, said Mathew Hill, executive director of the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority.

Even though visitors will be here to see Elvis tribute artists perform his hit songs, Hill says they will be introduced to much more.

“It brings all those people downtown. They’re going to eat and shop, and it draws new people to town who may have never been here,” he said.

If this year’s festival matches the crowds and good vibes of the previous one, Hill and McQuade are hoping it will return again next year.

“I think it has a certain uniqueness that gets people’s attention,” McQuade said. “The more things that make you feel distinctive or different, that’s what people are looking for - they’re looking for places to travel that have character.”


Information from: The Brunswick News, https://www.thebrunswicknews.com

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