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In this file photo from 2019, Tyler Hunter walks onto the stage for his performance in the first round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition at the Tupelo Elvis Fest.

TUPELO • After going online last year, the Tupelo Elvis Festival is live again.

The festival celebrating Tupelo’s own King of Rock ‘n’ Roll opens tonight and will continue through Sunday at BancorpSouth Arena and other locations in the city. Though the pandemic shut down last year’s in-person activities, the festival kept the Elvis Presley music going through virtual performances.

Elvis fans and tribute artists will be “together again” at 8 p.m. today for the festival kickoff event, the Opening Night Showcase concert, at the arena.

Thursday’s schedule includes the youth workshop and competition at 9 a.m., with the young winners from this year and 2019 performing with tribute artists during the Louisiana-to-London concert at 7:30 p.m. Another tribute artist concert, Rockin’ Around the World, is set for 3 p.m.

Friday’s lineup the first round of the Tupelo Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition at 10 a.m. and a tribute artist concert at 7:30 p.m. Linda Thompson, the actress and former girlfriend of Elvis, will join festival host Tom Brown during the Conversations program at 2 p.m.

Saturday, the Tupelo UETA semifinals start at 10:30 a.m. the finals to determine the next Tupelo winner begin at 6 p.m. The Tupelo to Memphis Concert is also set for Saturday following the UETA finals.

Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, fans can visit with tribute artists during meet-and-greets and enjoy activities hosted by the Tupelo Elvis Fan Club at various Downtown Tupelo locations.

The festival closes Sunday with a noon brunch and 1 p.m. gospel concert.

Tickets for arena performances are available at the arena box office or online at

Friday, fans can enjoy food and live music during Fairpark’s Food Truck Friday. Sponsored by the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, Food Truck Friday will last from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Saturday’s activities start at 7 a.m. with the Running With The King 5K at Veterans Park.

Boxing is also on the festival’s Saturday lineup with the TCB Fights at the Tupelo Furniture Market Building 4, starting at 7 p.m. More than 15 bouts are scheduled. The weigh-in and performance by the band Black Top Ridge will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the alley by GumTree Museum of Art. Tickets available at

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