Parksville resident Alycia Dunbar has been a Marilyn Monroe tribute artist since she was 19 but Elvis is the reason she’s on the program at the first Vancouver Island International Tribute Festival in Parksville this month.
“I know the ladies [putting it on], they are longtime customers of mine and they always sit at the Elvis table,” said Dunbar who is also a server at the Chuffin Cafe. “And it was because of our love of the Elvis impersonators that I got to know them,” she said.
The group of organizers were always jaunting to tribute festivals in places like Penticton, Graceland, and Las Vegas, Dunbar said, and they decided a couple years ago that they would endeavour to bring a similar festival to Parksville.
Dunbar grew up in Parksville and graduated from Ballenas Secondary School in 1999. She said people always told her she looked like Marilyn Monroe and then once she dyed her hair blond those comments increased. She’s also a strong singer and has won several karaoke contests performing as Marilyn. Dunbar has performed around the area and in a Las Vegas tribute festival in 2007. People can look forward to some of her signature moves at her performance on Saturday, May 24 at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre (PCCC).
“Red kisses on their bald foreheads,” she said. “That’s what I do.”
The Tribute Festival runs May 23 through 25 and will bring a number of renowned tribute artists to the area who will be playing Elvis, Cher, Roy Orbison, Liza Minnelli, The Judds and many more.
The weekend kicks off Friday, May 23 at 7 p.m. at the PCCC. Saturday a pancake breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m. and at 11 a.m. the Ocean Idlers Car Club will lead a Vintage Car parade. On Sunday a Tribute Artist’s Gospel Show will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A weekend pass is $85 per person and other passes are also available. Find tickets at Cranky Dog Music in Parksville or by contacting Sherry at 1-888-248-4525. Visit the website at www.islandtributefestival.com.