Elvis Week Shakes up Graceland
Memphis is known for its barbecue, blues and Beale Street, but all of these are trumped by a man known simply as The King.
From August 10-17, Graceland comes alive with an influx of sideburns, sequined suits and the infamous lip curl impression. It’s Elvis Week: a seven-day celebration of everything related to The King of rock ‘n’ roll, including his music, movies and the culture he created with a shake of his hips.
Elvis Week is unlike any other event, packed with concerts, panel discussions, an Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and even an Elvis Presley 5K. Jack Soden, president and CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, says he looks forward to “welcoming the world to Graceland and Elvis Week, which has become a pop-culture phenomenon and an annual pilgrimage for music lovers and Elvis fans of all ages.”
If it’s Elvis-related, you can be sure to find it at Elvis Week. The festivities also feature a plethora of special appearances by those who, in one way or another, have crossed paths with The King. Mother Dolores Hart, a successful actress who co-starred in two of Elvis’s films, and then later entered a contemplative monastery to the surprise of Hollywood will be there. DJ Fontana, Elvis’s drummer for 14 years, and Mylon Le Fevre, a Grammy and Dove Award-winning songwriter who penned several of The King’s gospel hits, will also make appearances this year.
The week of music and celebration eclipses on a reflective note, as fans take part in a candlelight vigil to Elvis’s gravesite on August 15 in honor of his memory and legacy. Taking part in the reverent march through Graceland are thousands of fans, quietly illuminating the night with thousands of candles.
If you love Elvis, if you still wake up in the morning humming “Hound Dog,” or if you happen to have an Elvis doll tucked away somewhere in your basement, then you need to make it to Memphis this weekend. Concerts, conversations, an Aloha From Hawaii chocolate tasting and lots more will keep you occupied as you keep your eyes open for the best Elvis impersonator. You’ll also learn more about the culture and the city that helped shape The King through tours of Graceland, a field trip to Elvis’s birthplace in Tupelo and the unveiling of a historic marker at his former high school.
At Elvis Week, fans can let loose, bust out their sequined suits, sing louder than they do in their showers, or just take instruction from The King himself, who famously said “You can do anything, just don’t step on my blue suede shoes.”
Photo courtesy Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.