The best way to describe the 2013 Collingwood Elvis Festival is to quote the opening lines from classic British author Charles Dickens' 1859 novel, "A Tale of Two Cities".
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".
The 'best of times', of course was the fabulous music performed by the greatest collection of Elvis Tribute Artists anywhere on planet Earth. Throughout Collingwood and Blue Mountain, for the four days of the Festival, the music of Elvis Presley soared and brought back many precious "Memories", and occasionally, making a few new ones. Elvis' music always brings a smile to everyone's face.
The 'worst of times'? The weather. Friday was a scorcher. Umbrellas for shade anyone? Saturday, everyone got drenched in torrential rain and then, just for good measure, we were drenched again. Umbrellas to stay dry anyone? Sunday was cold as cold could be without actually snowing. Warm jackets anyone?
On Hurontario Street, the free concerts captivated young and old alike, especially the youngsters. Some (the ones still in strollers) were mesmerized by the different looks of the ETA's - the leather years, the army uniforms, the white jump suits. They bopped to the music, but never took their eyes off the performer. ETA's roamed the streets of Collingwood and as always, were often followed by adoring fans wherever they went. This year's ETA's were the friendliest (and possibly the most talented) our annual Festival has seen.
One of the highlights this year was Oliver Steinhoff from Germany. His performances around town (and especially at the Olde' Towne Terrace Sunday Night) were nothing short of amazing.
Congratulations to this years' winner and this is a first for the Collingwood Elvis Festival. For 2013, a non professional ETA was the Overall winner as well as the Collingwood Elvis Festival's representative at the Ultimate Championship in Memphis in August. 19 year-old Hamilton native Richard Wolfe wowed audiences and judges alike in a big way (The 'Elvis' way). This was only Richards' second year performing at the Collingwood Elvis Festival. Kevin Bezaire won in the Non-Professional Concert Years category. In Professional: Early Years, the winner was Brycen Katolinsky with Jesse Aron taking home the top prize in the Professional: Concert category.
You can find all the winners (as if you didn't know already) at the Festivals' official website.
Photos from this past weekend are available at mycollingwood.ca by visiting our photo gallery.
"Doncha' Think It's Time" we say 'job well done' to everyone who worked on or visited the 2013 Collingwood Elvis Festival.
See you next year. Same time - same place.
Collingwood, of course.
Written by Doug Thompson
Photos by Dave West Photography
EARLY YEARS: CONCERT YEARS:
1 RICHARD WOLFE 1 KEVIN BEZAIRE
2 NORM ACKLAND JR. 2 T.J. JACKSON
3 PETE DORION 3 SAM CALLERI
EARLY YEARS: CONCERT YEARS:
1 BRYCEN KATOLINSKY 1 JESSE ARON
2 BRUCE ANDREW STEWART 2 BRUNO NESCI
3 BRENT MORREY 3 CORNY REMPEL
1 CONNOR RUSSO 1 DRAKE MILLIGAN
2 JAX ACKLAND 2 MASON CIGAN
3 AARON HENRY 3 ZACH PEDDIE
GOSPEL/INSPIRATIONAL: CANADIAN STAR CHALLENGE
1 NORM ACKLAND JR. 1 BRUNO NESCI
2 BRYCEN KATOLINSKY
3 ANTHONY CARBONE
OVERALL HIGHEST SCORE (MEMPHIS REPRESENTATIVE): RICHARD WOLFE