“Thank you, thank you very much!”
Last Saturday was a warm, beautiful day — perfect weather for enjoying the Chaffee Crossing Spring Festival and the Sixth Annual Elvis Haircut Day just outside Fort Smith, Arkansas. The what?? Yep, there’s actually a festival dedicated to celebrating the king AND the most famous haircut of the 1950s.
In March 1958, a young Elvis Presley came through Fort Chaffee as part of his induction into the US Army and before he went on to serve in Germany for 2 years. This is also where he received his first military haircut in Building 803 amid a LOT of public attention.
Today, Building 803 has been turned into the Chaffee Barbershop Museum, with photos and memorabilia from the Fort’s 70 year history, about the movies that have been shot on site, and about its most celebrated recruit.
And in honor of Elvis’ famous cut, 3 beauticians and 1 barber gave 75 free “GI buzz cuts” between 1 and 3pm on Saturday in the same location.
Even more fun? The barber on site was Jimmy Don Peterson, the son of the man who actually cut Elvis’ hair way back when.
But that wasn’t all the festival had to offer – not by a long shot! Other events included an Elvis look-alike contest, a poodle skirt contest, a hula hoop contest, crafts and food vendors, and a chili cookoff.
In addition, there were $25 super scary helicopter rides over the Chaffee Crossing Historic District, a classic car display…
mechanical bull rides…
And a BBQ contest. Let me stop for a minute and gush a bit about the most incredible ribs I’ve ever tasted. I found out these people used ingredients such as fresh rosemary, fresh garlic, and olive oil. And the combination was incredible!
Not surprising, these ribs won first place at the event. Congratulations you all!
But my overall favorite memory of the day was watching 2 performances by tribute artist Brent Giddens, or as I quickly dubbed him, “Sexy Elvis.”
I’ve never been a huge fan of cheesy and gimmicky Elvis impersonators, but young Mr. Giddens has a beautiful voice, a somewhat shy but fun stage presence, and ALL of the famous moves down perfectly.
The large audience seemed very happy (especially the women!) with the concerts, the first being a set from the 1950s and the second from the 1970s – complete with sparkly blue jumpsuit, of course.
At one point I thought: what better day can there be than one spent with a good friend, warm weather, cold beer, and sexy Elvis? Sign me up for next year, too!
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What a fun day that must have been. It goes to show you, there is always something fun to celebrate. As a big Elvis fan, this would have been a really special thing to attend. Maybe next year.
It really was a great day! Everyone seemed to be enjoying the nice weather and the food and all of the music were really wonderful. Go ahead and definitely put this on your calendar for next year!
Just saw this blog about the day at the Ft Chaffee Festival. I forgot that I no longer get notices when there is a new blog. Gotta check more often. That day had to rank way up there at the top of my Favorite Days list. Can’t wait until next year.
So glad you could join me! It really was a lot of fun.
By the way, if you go to the “re-subscribe via email” box on the top right and put in your info, you can start getting updates again. Sorry that the old site wouldn’t transfer that info over!
Actually, I think the Confirm email I received allowed me to do that. Thanks