Niagara Falls Elvis FestivalMarch 29, 2018
Our burning love for Elvis isn't going away, even more than 40 years after his death at his Graceland mansion.
Elvis will be in the house - make that, Elvises will be in the house - all weekend during the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival, which runs from Friday, April 20 to Sunday, April 22.
Elvis tribute artists will go head-to-head all weekend, with competitions sprinkled over the three days culimating in the semifinals featuring the top 10 performers on Sunday afternoon.
From there, the top five finishers will rock the joint at 7 that night in competition for the People's Choice Award and the crowning of The King himself.
Strategically speaking, there is no better place to base yourself during the event than the Howard Johnson By The Falls. Think of it as your Heartbreak Hotel for the weekend.
The fun gets going Friday night with a performance by 2013 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest winner Dean Z.
A pair of Kings will sing Saturday night - Justin Shandor, the 2010 Ultimate Elvis winner, with a guest appearance by Diogo Light, who was the champion of the 2017 Niagara Falls Elvis Festival competition.
On Sunday, leading up to the semis and the finale, there is an Elvis Gospel Hour in the morning. At that show, Dean Z will channel his inner Elvis again and he'll be joined by Jim Yorfido, an acclaimed Johnny Cash impersonator.
Cash and Presley - that's half the so-called Million Dollar Quartet (that also included Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, at their famous Memphis recording session).
All the events for the Elvis festival are being staged at the Greg Frewin Theatre, a beautiful venue on Ellen Avenue which is a three-minute walk from HoJo's.
The hotel offers numerous vacation packages to choose from on its website. Being on Victoria Avenue, it isn't just close to the Elvis shows but it's also a short walk from the world-famous Clifton Hill tourist hotspot, both the Niagara Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara, and the falls themselves.
Inside Howard Johnson's are several family-friendly dining spots, including Denny's, KFC, Pizza Hut and a Baskin Robbins shop.
It also offers an indoor pool with kids' slide, hot tub and sauna facilities, fitness centre and indoor shopping.
And did you know - Canada is the only country, outside the U.S., where Elvis ever performed on stage? While Elvis never played in Niagara Falls, Ont. (there was no venue here big enough to accommodate him and his fans), he did play Niagara Falls, N.Y.'s convention center and at the old Auditorium in Buffalo.
Tickets for the festival and more information on the weekend are at the Niagara Falls Elvis Festival website.