BRANSON, Mo. — The 14th Annual Branson Elvis Festival starts this weekend. The festival features tribute artists and even some friends of the King of Rock and Roll.
“They’re excited to be back, but I think they’re excited to be back as much as they miss the audience, the audience is going to be missing these guys as well,” said Ryan Pelton.
Pelton is an Elvis tribute artist in Branson and he headlines legends in concert by singing songs by Elvis Presley. However, Peloton says he started performing as Elvis after his mom dared him to enter a competition.
“I had one week to prepare, and I went on stage and I had to write the lyrics to the songs on my hand, but I ended up winning the contest.,” said Pelton. “And man I’ll tell you what, immediately it opened up this whole new world to me that I never thought existed.”
Pelton will be performing his tribute show, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, Sunday, July 25, at 11 a.m. But, Friday is the Dean Z Show at 10:30 p.m.
“Dean takes it a little step further where he is such a solid entertainer, musician,” said Pelton. “He can do a lot of things that other guys can’t.”
Dean Z was named the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist in 2013 and will be looking to take the crown again.
“Tomorrow obviously is the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, the preliminary,” said Pelton. “The winner of that will go to Graceland to perform for the big national title of world’s greatest Elvis.”
The Elvis Festival will also feature Ronnie McDowell, performing his all-request show on Saturday at 3 p.m.
“Ronnie McDowell is literally the voice of Elvis and just about every television or Hollywood movie, film you’ve ever seen… all the way back to Kurt Russell,” said Pelton. ” o all the mini-series that you’ve seen on television when you hear Elvis singing, that’s Ronnie McDowell.”