In light of the impending bad weather, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino has decided to cancel its second annual Elvis tribute competition for tonight, according to a press release from Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Two of the contestants are still planning to visit Dover Downs and will be performing at Fire & Ice in the hotel, beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday. There will be no charge for the show.


In light of the impending bad weather, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino has decided to cancel its second annual Elvis tribute competition for tonight, according to a press release from Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Two of the contestants are still planning to visit Dover Downs and will be performing at Fire & Ice in the hotel, beginning at 8 p.m. on Saturday. There will be no charge for the show.

Meanwhile, Middletown’s Elvis event, Jim Barone ‘A Tribute to Elvis,’ is still on, said Thomas Long, president of Spirit Productions Inc.

Note: The story below was written prior to Dover Downs canceling its Elvis competition.  

Two Elvis Presley tribute events will launch this weekend, one which features the renowned Dominic Joseph “D.J.” Fontana, the King’s original drummer.

Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will host a free Elvis tribute on Saturday at 8 p.m. The second Presley event, Jim Barone “A Tribute to Elvis,” will kickoff at the Everett Theatre in Middletown on Saturday at 8 p.m.

IF YOU GO

WHAT Dover Downs Hotel & Casino’Elvis Tribute

WHEN 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27

WHERE Dover Downs Hotel & Casino (Fire & Ice) 1131 North Dupont Highway, Dover

COST Free

INFO doverdowns.com

‘King’ of the hill
Talented tribute artists will go head-to-head with one another for a chance to be crowned “King” at Dover Downs.   

Judges will assess and evaluate contestants on a combination of overall look, voice, costume and audience participation.

Last year’s winner Andy Svrcek, of Cressona, Pa., learned the key to winning the crown is being able to show the audience that you have more than just a dynamic voice.

“People want to see you do moves and see your hands, and your gestures,” said the 40-year-old Svrcek. “That’s the stuff I work on a lot.”

Svreck, who began competing four years ago, said his competitors in last year’s show were “phenomenal.” Hence, he knows he’s going to have to stay on top of his game if he wants to keep the crown.

He’ll be performing a couple of new songs this year, with “Suspicious Minds” being the exception, since “it gets a lot of reaction from the crowd,” he said.

Bob Lougheed, a fellow tribute artist who will be emceeing the event, said the contestants in this year’s show are for real.

“There are some guys where you can close your eyes and they sound more like Elvis than Elvis,” said Lougheed, a Brandywine Hundred native who now resides in Millsboro. “It’s really like being at an Elvis concert.”

For Svreck, coming down to Dover gives him an opportunity to relax and bond with the guys, since most of the performers are familiar with each other because they perform gigs in the tri-state area.

IF YOU GO

WHAT Jim Barone ‘A Tribute to Elvis’

WHEN 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27

WHERE Everett Theater45 West Main Street, Middletown

COST $20 (balcony); $30 (lower level); $40 (VIP)

INFO spiritproinc.com or call 588-3335

“When we’re backstage, we get to cut up a little bit,” he said.

Living legend
For Thomas Long, president of Spirit Productions Inc., an entertainment company based out of his home in Brandywine Hundred, Friday’s event will mark the fourth time his company will host a Presley tribute at the Everett Theatre with Barone, who has performed as a tribute artist for more than 15 years. This Saturday’s tribute will mark the first time that Fontana will play a concert in Delaware.

“Just the opportunity to meet someone who is in the Rock [& Roll] Hall of Fame is cool all by itself,” Long said. “He’s in his 80s, and still wailing on the drums like he’s in his 20s.”

Barone says the opportunity to play with Fontana is epic.

“It’s a huge deal to me,” said Barone, 38, of New Jersey. “How many people can say they were in Elvis’ original band?”

Fontana will play drums for the entire first set of the concert.

“I think all the guys are good and mean well, and aren’t trying to downgrade Elvis,” Fontana said. “They are sincere about what they’re doing. “