The Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, California where, on August 2nd, 2014, it was Elvis Day!
Elvis Day Special Events
*Elvis Impersonation Singing Contest —–
*Farewell performances by Elvis Tribute Artist Michael (Bartle) & TLC —–
*Parade featuring Elvis Look-Alikes —–
*Elvis Trivia Contest ——
*A replica of Elvis’s Harley motorcycle —–
*A Thank you very much Elvis Contest —–
*Elvis Scream Contest for fans of all ages ——
*Raffle (Prize: Lighted Graceland at Christmas)
*Free Peanut Butter-Banana-Bacon Sandwiches!!
A Replica of Elvis’s Harley Motorcycle
Michael Bartle of Michael & TLC
Long-time favorite at the Sonoma County Fair, Michael Bartle, performed three afternoon shows on the Park Stage. Although this event marked his farewell as an Elvis Tribute Artist, Michael is now moving on to other projects in the music business.
The Elvis Impersonation Singing Contest
This event happens every other year at the Sonoma County Fair. Before we get to the contest, however, we have to mention….the band!!
Buzzy Martin and the Buzztones
This is the fantastic group that opened the show and accompanied the contestants throughout the evening.
With leader Buzzy Martin on guitar, Johnny Z on lead guitar, Mark V. Chole on bass, and Billy Carmassi on drums, the enthusiastic crowd cheered from beginning to end. (More about Buzzy Martin, including a promo for his upcoming film, is included below.)
About the Contest
The performers were judged on singing ability, stage presence, costume, and audience response with $1,500 and a trophy awarded for 1st prize, $500 for 2nd prize, and $250 for 3rd prize. The panel of judges included Tom Pappanduros (live sound engineer), Skylaer Palacios (Miss Sonoma County 2014), Tony Geraldi (Airport Express), and Nate Reebly (band conductor).
Each contestant performed one song. Up first, was Andrew Mendlin with an impressive rendition of I Was the One. This was followed by two of those songs that never fail to thrill the crowd in an Elvis tribute contest: Polk Salad Annie performed by Douglas Bryan and Burning Love sang by Tony Freitas. Up next was defending champion King Jonny Sanchez with That’s Alright Mama, and wow, what an entertainer! And…that….hair!!
Then came David May (All Shook Up), who inspired countless double takes from the audience because of a certain resemblance to Elvis. (Just check out the photo above where he’s standing 3rd from the left.) The sixth contestant was Bradley “Memphis” Cotton who, with Suspicious Minds, reminded us that paying tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll requires not only the ability to sing, but also the stamina to do all of those aerobic, unmistakably Elvis-like moves!! The final contestant of the evening was Rob Ely with a spot-on, crowd-pleasing performance of Hound Dog.
And the Winners are…
Actually, the overall winners of the night were those of us who were fortunate to be in the audience. As for the actual contest, the judges clearly had their work cut out for them. Here was the final breakdown.
1st Place: Rob Ely
2nd Place: Douglas Bryan
3rd Place: Bradley “Memphis” Cotton
The show concluded with all of the performers joining together for final song Heartbreak Hotel.
We could not have asked for a better evening!
More About the Sonoma County Fair
With all of the wonderful exhibits, contests, entertainment, food and activities for all ages at the Sonoma County Fair, it is definitely an event not to be missed. For more information about the fair and other upcoming events at the fairgrounds, see:
- Official Website for the Sonoma County Fairgrounds: http://sonomacountyfair.com
- Sonoma County Fair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SonomaCountyFair
- Official Website: http://www.buzzymartin.com
- Promo for upcoming film: Click here
- Book available on Amazon: Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man
- Review of “Don’t Shoot! I’m The Guitar Man”: Click here
- Buzzy Martin on Facebook: Fan Page
- On Vimeo: Buzzy Martin and The Buzztones performing one of their own songs at the Sonoma County Fair – https://vimeo.com/102600550