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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 June 2004, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Porthcawl shook up by Elvis

By Nick Horton
BBC Wales News Online

Elvis tattoo on fan's back
Back from the dead : a real Elvis fan shows allegiance
It's a long way from Memphis, Tennessee, but the south Wales seaside town of Porthcawl is planting its blue suede shoes on the Elvis Presley map.

The normally sedate resort is preparing to host an Elvis festival, including a competition for tribute acts to the king of rock 'n' roll.

One local couple will also renew their wedding vows in a Chapel of Love la Elvis.

It will be held at the town's Grand Pavilion from 1 - 3 October.

We are confident that this event will establish itself as the premier annual Elvis event in Europe
Peter Phillips, Porthcawl Elvis Festival
Other attractions will include a mass cruising convoy of classic American cars, each carrying an Elvis lookalike.

The Elvis tribute awards, known as the "Elvies", will be open to artists from the various eras of Presley's career.

These will include Young Elvis, GI Elvis, '68 Special Elvis, Vegas Elvis, and International Elvis.

Elvis impersonator Rockin' Dave Riley entertains at Porthcawl
Tribute act Rockin' Dave Riley gets 'em jivin' outside the Grand Pavilion
One tribute act, Rockin' Dave Riley, said at the launch of the event on Monday: "It's the best thing that's happened to Porthcawl in years".

Devotees of The King, who died aged 42 in 1977, will also be to test their knowledge of their hero in "the ultimate Elvis quiz".

Fans of his many movies will also be able to catch his celluloid adventures when the films shown throughout the weekend, and a scene from one, Blue Hawaii, will be recreated on the nearby Rest Bay beach.

It will also see the launch of a new book written by Sandi Pichon, an American author who grew up with Elvis.

Event spokesman Peter Phillips said: "Given the support we have received from the people of Porthcawl, the town council, Capital Regional Tourism and Bridgend County Borough Council, we are confident that this event will establish itself as the premier annual Elvis event in Europe."

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