Los Fresnos to host 23rd annual Elvis festival

LOS FRESNOS — It’s going to get all shook up at the Little Graceland Elvis Festival on Saturday.

The annual celebration marks the 23rd year Simon Vega hosts the event celebrating his friend’s birthday at his home in Los Fresnos.

The one-day event will bring eight Elvis impersonators who will take the stage for 30-minute sets performing the King’s greatest hits for spectators.

Vega said he is anticipating more than 1,000 people to attend the event throughout the day to celebrate Elvis and his music.

The two were friends in the military.

Long after Vega finished his stint in the Army, he began collecting Elvis memorabilia and created a museum dedicated to his memory at this home.

Vega also recreated the Graceland house gates at his home and called it Little Graceland.

The story of Little Graceland has been told many times and the photo of Little Graceland has appeared in publications worldwide.

But what matters most to Vega is a few years after Elvis, died Vega wanted to do something for his old friend. So he organized the first Elvis festival in 1983.

“We decided the best thing to do would be a festival,” Vega said. “The first festival attracted 25 people and it has grown every year.”

Vega recalls meeting the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll one day in the chow line when the two were in the Army. Vega went up Elvis and asked him if they could be friends.

“He (Elvis) said sure, and we shook hands. From then on we were pretty good friends,” Vega said. “I didn’t get to know him until we went overseas when we landed in Germany in August of 1958.”

Vega was at basic training with Elvis at Fort Hood. He was even around the time Elvis met Priscilla for the first time.

He recalls at the end of the month when soldiers didn’t have any money, Elvis would treat them at the snack bar.

If you go

2016 Elvis Festival Presented by Little Graceland

701 West Ocean Blvd.

Los Fresnos

Admission $8

Kids 12 and Under Free

Gates open at 9:30 a.m.

Elvis Museum open from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Food & drink, kiddie rides