Ruben Flowers, 12, has fun with a few Elvis costume props at the Columbus Arts Council Thursday. Checking out Elvis LPs and cut-outs behind him are, from left, Spence Andrews; Izzy Poros, 15; Kyla Norwood, 15; and Austen Taylor, 15, in the pink Elvis jacket. A Viva Las Elvis party Friday includes an Elvis and Priscilla look-alike contest. Ruben's parents are Terry Flowers and Pamela Norwood. Izzy is the daughter of John Poros and Leslie Strayner. Kyla's parents are Jem and Pamela Norwood. Austen is the son of Anthony and Ava Taylor. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
June 16, 2018 10:02:19 PM
Elvis -- or at least the festive spirit of Elvis -- will be in the building Friday night. The Columbus Arts Council is throwing a Viva Las Elvis party, with live music by a storied local band, The Dips, an Elvis and Priscilla look-alike contest and more. Hamburger plates, ordered by Thursday, will be served from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Music by The Dips begins at 8 p.m. in the main gallery of the Rosenzweig Arts Center at 501 Main St. in downtown Columbus.
The event falls at the end of the arts council's fiscal year.
"Tupelo just had its big Elvis Festival, and Elvis' movie 'Viva Las Vegas' came out about this time 54 years ago. It's also the end of our arts council year, so we just wanted to have a fun summer celebration," said Beverly Norris, CAC program manager. "We're so happy to have The Dips saluting the king of rock and roll, so bring your dancing shoes."
Rockin' together since 1981
The Dips -- Jim Beaty (aka the Rev. Jimmy Baltimore), Johnny Laird (Buzz Walley), J. Dee McKay (Les Rock) and Chris Curry (Earl Six) -- are mainstays on stages throughout the greater Golden Triangle and beyond. They banded together as The Dips in '81 to pay homage to early Beatles influences like Carl Perkins, The Everly Brothers and Link Wray. After several busy years of performing their American roots rock playlist, The Dips called it quits in 1984, when guitarist Laird moved to New Orleans. The remaining members eventually formed The BarBQ Boys with Jeffrey Rupp and have continued performing in various configurations ever since.
In 2010, Laird returned to the Golden Triangle for a much-anticipated two-night Dips reunion show. Since then, he's relocated to Starkville and rejoins the original band for select public performances, like Viva Las Elvis.
"This should be great fun," Norris said. "A casual night to relive some iconic music, dance when the mood strikes and celebrate summer. And we know there are some prospective Elvis and Priscilla look-alikes out there who should be entering the contest. Come on out."
How to go
For Columbus Arts Council members, Viva Las Elvis tickets are $15 in advance; $17 at the door. For nonmembers, tickets are $20 in advance; $22 at the door. Hamburger plates, with baked beans, chips, desserts and beverage, are $10; please purchase food tickets by Thursday.
All tickets are available at columbus-art.org, or by stopping by or calling the arts center at 662-328-2787 (closed Mondays).
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.