Visitors to Prestwick Airport will be all shook up when they celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elvis touching down at the airport.
March 3 1960 saw the then 25-year-old Elvis Presley land at Prestwick for his plane to refuel on his way home after two years’ military service in Germany. Now, 50 years on, the airport is keen to celebrate perhaps the most famous stopover in Scottish history.
Danny Anderson, director of Zisys Events who is organising the golden anniversary day, explained why it is so important to mark the significance of the visit -- the only time Presley set foot in Britain.
He said: “Elvis is one of the most influential musicians to have lived. Prestwick Airport played a small yet significant part in his life. I felt it appropriate that Ayrshire formally celebrates this anniversary.”
Passengers, fans and visitors will be treated to a mammoth show which will kick off next Wednesday morning with ‘Elvis’ landing in full sergeant’s uniform at the airport and being met by the paparazzi.
Throughout the day an array of performers, including local Ayr boys the MacDonald Brothers, and students from Strathclyde University will take to a stage to perform their own unique take on Elvis songs.
The Elvis extravaganza will take place in the main concourse of the airport and will run for 16 hours.
Prestwick Airport’s managing director Iain Cochrane is looking forward to hosting the unique tribute.
He said: “We are delighted to revive our links with the rock ‘n’ roll legend. You would have to have a wooden heart not to be hugely proud that Prestwick Airport is the only place in Britain where he set foot.”
Mr Cochrane is also thrilled at what it will mean for the area.
He explained: “This is an excellent opportunity to mark a unique milestone as well as helping promote Ayrshire and bring together the travelling public, locals and fan clubs worldwide.”
Amongst the highlights of the day will be a Best Dressed Elvis competition, with the winner receiving free flight tickets to a destination of their choice.
On top of that, the UK’s top ‘young’ Elvis impersonator, Lee Jackson, will be flying in from his tour in Germany to give the day an authentic feel and perform many of his idol’s hits.
The Elvis Cleaning Company will also be on hand throughout the day -- in Elvis attire of course, to ensure the concourse is kept clean and tidy.
The free event is being sponsored by South Ayrshire Council, West FM and local companies. Parking will cost £1 on the day and all profits will go to the children’s charity Clic Sergent.