Steve Elliott’s life as an Elvis impersonator started with a mall, karaoke and what may be considered an early wedding present.
The former political cartoonist knew of the King before that prophetic day eight years ago, but Elliott readily admits he hadn’t listened to much of Elvis’s music. But as luck, or life, would have it, the day before Elliott’s wedding he haphazardly — and with much cheering from his soon-to-be wife — entered a karaoke competition the couple came across in a mall.
Competing against contestants crooning songs ranging from Patsy Cline to Frank Sinatra, Elliott chose Elvis. Not only did he win the contest, but Elliott took home a boxed set of music from the most popular singer of the 20th century. And maybe more importantly, Elliott was hooked on karaoke.
He next sang karaoke at his wedding. Weeks later, he belted it out in bars and charmed the mike in lounges, all the time picking tunes from the original hip shaker. As a cartoonist, humour has always been a big part of Elliott’s life, so when a listener told him he should attend an Elvis festival in Penticton, he thought, “why not?”
By the end of it, Elliott was sold. He was going to become an impersonator and on Saturday (Oct 6), he’ll be a shakin’ and a rattlin’ at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park’s Rockin’ at the Roundhouse.
The dinner dance is a part of the non-profit West Coast Railway Association’s ongoing fundraising, the park’s general manager Ken Tanner said. For the first time, the event will be included in the organization’s Harvest Fest, which runs from Saturday to Monday (Oct. 6 to 8). The festival, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., includes hay rides, the mini-rail, live entertainment, and crafts and games.
Tanner said he heard rumours that Squamish once had its own community dance, an idea he would like to revive starting with Rockin’ at the Roundhouse.
Tickets for the dance are $65 and include a buffet meal by renowned five-star chef Gregg Van Hierden and a full-service, no-host bar. Money raise by the event will go toward the many needs of running the park, Tanner said.
The organization aims to refurbish two cars a year — a time-consuming and costly venture, he noted.
“We are also restoring a transfer locomotive,” Tanner said of current projects.
For more information on the festival and dance visit www.wcra.org or call (604) 898-9336. The park is located at 39645 Government Rd.