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All shook up - Council helps fund Elvis festival

April 18, 2001

All shook up - Council helps fund Elvis festival



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

Expect an Elvis sighting in July.

Elvis Lives in Hagerstown, a new event planned by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for July 21 in downtown Hagerstown.

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday agreed to provide $5,305 in city services for the event, which will feature an Elvis Presley impersonation contest.

The council gave permission to close the first block of South Potomac Street to traffic during the event, and to allow beer and wine to be served during the event.

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Event coordinator Rich Reichenbaugh met with the Mayor and Council Tuesday. He said the Chamber plans to use the event as a fund-raiser and a way to bring awareness to the planned Arts and Entertainment District.

Councilman J. Wallace McClure said it sounds like a "great idea." But he said that with the tight financial situation the city faces, he would like to lessen the expense to the city.

Council members William M. Breichner, Lewis C. Metzner and Susan Saum-Wicklein said they supported granting the request.

The $5,305 in city services would cover the cost of additional policing, as well as city workers and equipment to help with set-up and clean-up for the event.

Reichenbaugh said the total cost of Elvis Lives in Hagerstown is expected to be $20,000.

Advanced TelCom Group, a Frederick, Md.-based Internet and telephone company, is donating $10,000 toward the event, said Susan Brown, a company spokeswoman.

Reichenbaugh said the event probably won't raise a lot of money in its first year, but it should raise awareness of the planned Arts and Entertainment District, a proposal to develop part of downtown Hagerstown into a $10.2 million visual and performing arts center.

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