New Year’s Eve celebrations
New Year’s Eve at Chateau Elan
What: Celebrate the New Year at Chateau lan Winery & Resort with the Roaring 1920s package or the Speakeasy New Year Celebration. Enjoy cocktail receptions with hors d’oeuvres, multicourse dinner with wine service, open bar, music and dancing, midnight toast and deluxe accommodations at the luxurious inn.
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 31
Where: 100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton.
Cost: King room $605; king corner suite $705; room with two double beds $485
More info: 678-425-0900, email@example.com
New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Holly Theater
What: Ring in the New Year at the Holly with a Vegas-style cabaret show and a lively celebration to follow. The electrifying show by La Femme features professional dancers performing with a live jazz band.
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 31.
Where: 69 W. Main St., Dahlonega.
Cost: Show $35; show and celebration $75
More info: 706-864-3759
While many people will ring in the New Year with friends and family, visitors to Habersham Community Theater will welcome 2015 with Elvis Presley.
Ken Culbertson will don his Presley persona for the show “Elvis and Friends,” at the theater in Clarkesville. The show will include Culbertson’s impersonation along with his other country star impersonations, while his wife, Sandra, will impersonate a few female country vocalists.
The show will begin at 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at 1370 Washington St., Clarkesville. Tickets are $25 per person and include dessert and a glass of champagne.
For reservations, call 706-839-1315 or go online at www.habershamtheater.org.
The Times asked Culbertson about his tribute to Elvis and how it began.
Question: Why did you decide you wanted to be an Elvis impersonator?
Answer: I really didn’t decide to do it. We started doing Elvis impersonations really as a skit at church. We would do little silly skits to raise money for missions and various charities. People started really enjoying it and we didn’t realize they would take it seriously and sometime after that we were invited to do a public show. I think it was a Halloween event and it kind of grew from there.
People just really enjoyed it and they said we sounded like we should do it. So it just kind of went from there and it has blossomed into where we have to turn down some shows because we have so many shows and opportunities. We really started out as a joke and it turned into a monster.
Q: What is your favorite song by Elvis? And what is your favorite song to perform?
A: My favorite song by Elvis is “How Great Thou Art,” the old gospel song. I do it in every show no matter where we are, we do that. There are so many. All the songs are our favorite, but that’s the one that stands out to me and usually is requested, whether they realize we are going to do it or not.
Q: Why did you decide to continue doing the shows?
A: People really enjoyed it and it was sort of a shock to us. We were invited by a friend of ours, who is a Patsy Cline tribute artist, we were invited to her show. She liked what we did and we were invited to be part of her show and then the Elvis part of that, we also do Johnny Cash. My wife does June Carter and Loretta Lynn and I do Conway Twitty and other artists as well, so she enjoyed what we did so much that she invited us to be part of her show and the Elvis part just went over well with the audience. Then my wife and I just looked at each other and said, “you know we need to do our own show.” So we did and we went from there and have had it ever since.
Q: What other impersonations do you do for your shows?
A: Certainly we do Elvis and I do Johnny Cash, I also do — it’s almost a comedy song — I do Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson at the same time, switching back and forth between their voices. And I do Conway Twitty as part of my wife’s Loretta Lynn. She does June Carter Cash and does a song by Patti Page as well. So we have a lot of folks up on stage all at one time. We also have a lady who works with us from time-to-time who does Minnie Pearl. Her name is Barbara Cooper and she’s really good at it.
Q: How do you feel about ringing in the New Year as Elvis?
A: I’m glad for the opportunity. We’ve never played at the Habersham theater before and we really enjoy theater work. We do various kinds of shows from small private events to big auditorium shows, but we really enjoy the theaters, especially the small theaters. They’re very intimate and there’s an opportunity for good interaction with the audience. We have never played there before so we are really looking forward to it. I really hope it’s the start of a good thing and what better way to ring in the new year than to have some fun trying to do Elvis.