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Elton John mania is sweeping across Vermont.

Tickets to his concert on July 21, at the Champlain Valley Expo don't go on sale until Friday, but fans are camping out overnight at ticket outlets to make sure they get a good seat.

Wearing boas, colorful hats and glasses, these Sir Elton groupies say sleeping outside is a tiny sacrifice, and one they're glad to make to see the performer they call a living legend.

"Why Elton John? He's so flamboyant, he's a show person," said Colchester resident, Tracy Lamphere. "I can't afford to go to Las Vegas to see him. It's worthwhile...it's Elton John!"

Some fans were willing to give up sleep to get their seats.

"Actually, I worked all night at the hospital and I haven't slept yet, and I'm going to have to work tomorrow, too," said Essex Junction resident, Becky Ladue. "Hopefully I'll get some sleep tomorrow after I get tickets!"

Those tickets range from $70 to $130 plus service charges. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Flynn Theater box office in Burlington, and at Copy Ship Fax Plus in Essex Junction. The camped-out fans could have saved themselves some trouble by going to the FlynnTix Web site on Friday, but they say camping overnight will itself be an experience to remember.

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Sir Elton John is about to cross Vermont off his list of states in which he hasn't performed.

The knighted British pop-rock legend will be coming to the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction on July 21. It's been something of an open secret, especially after the creator of "Crocodile Rock," "Daniel," "Candle In the Wind" and oodles of other hit songs said on "Larry King Live" recently that he would visit the three states he had never played in before -- Vermont, Delaware and Alaska. He knocked one of those states off the list last month with a show in Newark, Del.

Tickets aren't cheap (after all, Sir Elton has a pretty expensive wardrobe habit) -- they're $75-$135, and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday with a limit of four per customer. Tickets will be available at the Flynn Center box office or at http://www.primetix.us

John, 61, and his band will visit Essex Junction as part of the "Rocket Man -- Number Ones" tour, and he'll perform his greatest hits as well as more recent songs. In a news release Monday, David Grimm, general manager of the Champlain Valley Exposition, called John the "biggest name in entertainment to play at the Exposition in our 87-year history." John is continuing the fairgrounds' recent habit of hosting music giants, following Paul Simon in 2006 and Bob Dylan last year.

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