Chattahoochee Mountain Fair
When: through Saturday
Where: Habersham County fairgrounds, Ga. 17/Toccoa Highway, Clarkesville
Admission: $5 adults, $2 children 6-10, kids under 6 free
More info: click here
The Big E Championship Show
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Loudermilk Boarding House and the Panoramic Encyclopedia of Everything Elvis Museum
Where: 271 Foreacre St., Cornelia. Call 706-778-2001 for hours
Are you missing your yearly dose of Everything Elvis?
Don't get all shook up: The King is back, and coming to the Chattahoochee Mountain Fair.
After a brief hiatus, The Big E Championship Show will take the main stage at the 35th annual fair Saturday in Clarkesville.
The host will be the self-proclaimed "Queen of the King," Cornelia's Joni Mabe "the Elvis Babe." She will offer a full evening of Elvis Presley tribute artists, trivia and prizes. Included will be past champions from Mabe's annual Big E Festival, formerly held at her Panoramic Encyclopedia of Everything Elvis museum in Cornelia.
The festival, which was held every August since 2000, outgrew the museum property, so this year was moved to the Chattahoochee Mountain Fair.
Mabe's glitter encrusted paintings, collages and sculptures of Elvis and other dead celebrities have earned her an international reputation. She spent years on the road traveling with her collection of Elvis-inspired artwork and memorabilia, that including a wart one removed from Presley, and an alleged toenail.
Mabe's Cornelia site, the historic Loudermilk Boarding House, maintains much of its circa 1916 charm while serving as home to more than 30,000 Elvis items.
"It's sorta like family, you know - he's just always right around the corner," Mabe said of her ties to Presley. "I look at it as long term."
Saturday's event will features 2006 champion Matthew Spalding as Elvis circa 1950s-60s, 2009 champ Robby Dean Scott as Vegas-era Elvis, and two-time winner (‘04 and ‘08) Damon Hendrix performing the King's gospel favorites.
Although each Elvis tribute artist is a native Georgian, other performers travel from as far away as Florida and Texas to take part.
"I've had so many people call me and beg me to have it again — it's like I've created a monster," Mabe said.
In addition to the Elvis tribute, the Chattahoochee Mountain Fair will feature beauty pageants, petting zoos, bake-offs, livestock shows, a rodeo, art competitions, country crafts, carnival rides, barbecue and lots of food on a stick.
"I'm looking for something that will be a tradition at our fair, something that will bring people back year after year," says Brenda Kinsey of the Habersham County Chamber of Commerce. "I'd like to see us do it for years to come. ... I want people to come to the fair because of Elvis."