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Hail to the King: 'Elvis' headlines Northwood celebration

"Elvis" is performing Saturday in Northwood, N.D. Well, actually, it's Rick Senger, of Devils Lake, who'll be decked out in that high-collared, white, rhinestone-studded suit and sunglasses. Senger is presenting "A Tribute to Elvis" at 7 p.m. at ...

Rick Senger of Devils Lake will perform "A Tribute to Elvis" as part of the Old Fashioned Saturday event this weekend at Northwood, N.D. (Submitted photo)
Rick Senger of Devils Lake will perform "A Tribute to Elvis" as part of the Old Fashioned Saturday event this weekend at Northwood, N.D. (Submitted photo)

"Elvis" is performing Saturday in Northwood, N.D.

Well, actually, it's Rick Senger, of Devils Lake, who'll be decked out in that high-collared, white, rhinestone-studded suit and sunglasses.

Senger is presenting "A Tribute to Elvis" at 7 p.m. at the Northwood School Auditorium, as part of the community's annual Old Fashioned Saturday event.

Tickets are $8 in advance, if purchased from members of the Northwood Women's Literary Club.

At the door, tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for those 18 and younger.

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Senger, who's been a singer and musician since he was "a kid," performs as Elvis Presley several times a year, he said.

He got his start in the early '90s when his mother-in-law convinced him to entertain as The King at an Association of Business and Professional Women state convention in Devils Lake. She was an officer for the organization.

"I guess it went over pretty well," he said, and more job requests for "Elvis" started coming his way.

"It's a blast," said Senger, who's retired from the North Dakota Police Academy. "We have a lot of fun with it."

His wife, Jacque Senger, said, "His voice is very similar to Elvis'."

The couple vacationed for a few months last winter in Mesa, Ariz., where he gave a few performances.

At one such event, Senger was performing '50s and '60s music as himself and then, on a break, went out to his car and put on a shiny gold sport coat, black wig and sunglasses.

Back on stage, he told the audience, " 'Rick needed a break' and I did a half-hour of Elvis.

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"The people ate it up. They said, 'Oh you missed Elvis,' and I said, 'That was me.' "

They were fooled, but he credits the accessories.

"I don't think I look like Elvis, but with a lot of makeup and a wig, I guess I can handle it," he said.

A Northwood tradition

Myrna Johnson, a member of the Northwood Women's Literary Club, said she's hoping for a good crowd for the Old Fashioned Saturday in Northwood.

"The bleachers hold about 300 or so at the Northwood School Auditorium," she said. "It would be nice if we got that many."

The show is not necessarily meant to be a fundraiser, but "we hope we don't go in the hole," she said, "and that we cover our expenses."

Johnson is hoping people of all ages will attend, she said. "It's a family-friendly event."

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"Older people are probably more excited than the younger ones," she said. "That's why we have the price of only $5 for those 18 and younger-to encourage them to come."

The Northwood Women's Literary Club consists of volunteers, she said. "We do different things to improve our community."

In the past, the club has hosted a "wine and art stroll" for Old Fashioned Saturday, she said. "We decided to do something different this year."

Johnson and some other club members saw Senger perform last year and decided to feature his Elvis tribute at this year's Old Fashioned Saturday.

The event, a tradition in Northwood, "is always on the fourth weekend in July," she said.

At that point in the season, "other things have gone on and are over with, and it's held to fill a void-it's something to do."

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Rick Senger of Devils Lake will present "A Tribute to Elvis" at the Old Fashioned Saturday event this weekend in Northwood, N.D. (Submitted photo)

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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