Keep­ing the King’s mem­ory

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By TAO LIN

Don’t be alarmed by the white sparkly jump­suits and blue suede shoes in­vad­ing the Auck­land Botanic Gar­dens on March 1.

Six Elvis trib­ute artists and a live band di­rected by mu­si­cal direc­tor Rodger Fox will be bring­ing the songs and soul of the King of Rock and Roll to life at the sixth an­nual Elvis in the Gar­dens con­cert.

Con­cert cre­ator and Elvis per­former Ker­ryn Winn says the free event isn’t just for die-hard Elvis fans.

‘‘Our dream was to cre­ate some­thing where the com­mu­nity got to­gether and just chilled out with fam­ily and friends and en­joyed pro­fes­sional per­form­ers,’’ he says.

The event’s grown big­ger and bet­ter since it started six years ago.

Winn and his wife Katrina held the first con­cert in Bom­bay but num­bers out­grew the venue and they moved it to the Botanic Gar­dens in 2012. Now Winn says there are peo­ple from over­seas who plan their hol­i­days down un­der so they co­in­cide with Elvis in the Gar­dens.

In­ter­na­tional per­form­ers were in­tro­duced last year, in­clud­ing the world’s top Elvis trib­ute artist Ben Portsmouth, who is back again this year.

It’s not just ‘‘oldies’’ who come along, ei­ther.

‘‘We’re amazed at how many young peo­ple en­joy Elvis and know the mu­sic. He’s well-loved in the young com­mu­nity.

‘‘I don’t think his mem­ory will ever die.’’

Ev­ery year the event helps raise money for char­ity through bucket col­lec­tions and this year’s cho­sen char­ity is Di­a­betes NZ Auck­land.

As well as the on-stage en­ter­tain­ment, there will be free chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties like bouncy cas­tles and face paint­ing, as well as food and re­fresh­ments.

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