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Byline: Richard Duckett

What do you do on the anniversary of the King's death if you're an Elvis Presley impersonator/tribute artist?

Steve Connolly got on the bus Tuesday night - a double-decker bus with a rolling stage that traveled up, down and around Las Vegas for two hours while he performed his award-winning Elvis show.

Connolly, who is formerly from Worcester and graduated from Clark University with a degree in art, has several regular Elvis gigs in Las Vegas, including performing as the King each day on a "Show Bus of the Stars" bus tour.

For Aug. 16, the 34th anniversary of Presley's passing, he had a "custom two-hour version" of the regular 90-minute bus tour. It was sold out, Connolly said.

However, while Las Vegas has been called the true home of Elvis (and Elvis impersonators), the anniversaries of his birthday and death don't necessarily register as large there as they might elsewhere, Connolly said.

"The rest of the country recognizes him two days a year, whereas Vegas recognizes Elvis 365 days a year," Connolly said.

Presley's birthday is in January, a month when much of the entertainment in Las Vegas - including Elvis-themed shows - takes a little vacation.

Connolly heads east each January with his "Spirit of the King Tour." He has brought the show to Mechanics Hall in Worcester for several years.

Still, there was an Elvis convention at the Las Vegas Hilton last week, and Connolly was one of the performers. There is a bronze statue of Elvis outside the hotel, which is the scene of an annual candlelight vigil to mark his passing.

"Last year Lady Gaga showed up. I took a photo," Connolly said.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: Elvis Presley tribute artist Steve Connolly

PHOTOG: T&G File Photo/MARK C. IDE
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Geographic Code:1U8NV
Date:Aug 18, 2011
Words:296
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