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Largo celebrates 75th birthday of Elvis

It's not often that a 75th birthday party includes a raucous celebration with hip-swinging rock 'n' roll and a birthday cake for a dead guy. But then again, there was only one Elvis Aaron Presley.

To celebrate Tupelo, Mississippi's famous baby, who was born Jan. 8, 1935, the annual Elvis Bash will be held at Largo Cultural Center on Sunday.

Six Elvis impersonators will perform ditties like Hound Dog, Blue Hawaii, Don't Be Cruel and Heartbreak Hotel. Dressed in costumes from different eras of the King's career, each entertainer will perform one set of Elvis songs.

The Elvis Bash, in its sixth year, originated through the work of Colin Bissett, the former manager of the Largo Cultural Center. And the birthday tradition keeps getting better, according to Rob Mondora, the center's artistic director. "Colin reviewed box office records and it became clear that every Elvis event at LCC was a success. This is when the idea of having a show on Elvis' birthday began,'' Mondora said.

The event is not a competition, he said.

"These are high-quality tribute artists that join together as a team to celebrate the life and music of Elvis. There has never been a feeling of a competition or contest,'' he said.

Along with the show, patrons are invited to purchase brunch tickets for an additional $10. Along with a full bar starting at noon, the brunch will be a mix of Elvis's favorite foods from Brenda Butler's cookbook, Are You Hungry Tonight? This means you can expect the buffet will include biscuits and gravy and banana pudding.

"I believe this event has become the most well-known Elvis celebration in the Tampa Bay area, if not Central Florida,'' Mondora said. "I also believe this has become a coveted gig for the Elvis Tribute artists.''

Fast facts

If you go

Largo Cultural Center's Elvis Bash will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. The additional ticket for a noon brunch is $10. For information visit www.largoarts.com or call the box office, (727) 587-6793 .

Largo celebrates 75th birthday of Elvis 12/29/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 10:20pm]
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