Top 5 Things I Can't Wait to Experience at Elvis Week
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Graceland Parking

3717 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38116

Only 10 minutes from downtown and 3 minutes from the Memphis Airport.

The Guest House at Graceland

3600 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38116

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MONDAY - SATURDAY:  9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
sUNDAY: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

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Graceland Blog

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF GRACELAND

Welcome to the official blog of Elvis Presley’s Graceland! You can take Elvis-inspired quizzes, get first-looks on events here at Graceland and how-to guides on everything you need to know about Elvis and his home. Like Elvis, we come with a little southern charm

Top 5 Things I Can't Wait to Experience at Elvis Week

BY JON WATERHOUSE

Primed and ready like the king before a big show, Elvis Week 2017 will be the biggest and best us fans have seen to date.

No, I’m not channeling my inner game show host or over exaggerating. I’ll take the blogger’s oath on this one. It’s going to be huge, folks. Expect more shimmer than Elvis’ jumpsuit collection, more excitement than opening day of a Presley picture, and more camaraderie than 100 family reunions.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ passing. With a multitude of events spreading across nine days and Graceland’s largest expansion in full force, thousands upon thousands of Elvis lovers from around the globe will be walking in Memphis, celebrating the music, movies, and legacy of the greatest entertainment icon of all time.

At this moment, my fingers tap across my computer keyboard, signaling the beginning of my fifth stint as Elvis Week Blogger. I’ll be diving into the celebration for the duration, covering events, interviewing some of the special guests, and giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at what makes Elvis Week an unparalleled phenomenon.

For me, Elvis Week always elicits a range of emotion. Right now, I’m amping up on adrenaline and anticipation. Imagine Lucky Jackson behind the wheel in “Viva Las Vegas.” That’s me, and I’m about to shift into high gear.

Seriously, I could write for hours about what I’m looking forward to at Elvis Week 2017. To bypass the carpal tunnel, I’m sticking to the top five things I can’t wait to experience - and check a few of my favorite photos from Elvis Weeks past.

Elvis Presley’s Memphis

This will be the first Elvis Week fans have access to this new state-of-the-art entertainment and exhibit complex. Many not-to-miss Elvis Week events will be dropping there. Having swung open its gates in March, Elvis Presley’s Memphis has 200,000-square-feet of entertainment and exhibits. Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, arguably the star attraction, serves as the most sprawling and extensive Elvis museum on the planet. Elvis Presley’s Memphis also plays host to the brand new home of Elvis Radio, the 24-hour all-Elvis station on SiriusXM satellite radio. Keep your ears open for me on the air, as I’ll be popping in periodically. Angie Marchese, the director of archives at Graceland, will be giving me a tour of the grounds and exhibits, so make sure and check out the blog for a full report.

The Guest House at Graceland

Back at Elvis Week 2014, I watched as Priscilla Presley led the groundbreaking ceremony. Last year, I slipped on a hard hat and took a tour of the construction site. I could see The Guest House coming to life before my eyes. This time I’ll be bunking in kingly style, occupying one of the 450 rooms at this luxury resort. With several amazing Elvis Week events taking place at The Guest House, I’ll be steps away from the action. If you see me fueling up at Delta’s Kitchen or EP’s Bar & Grill —the resort’s two full-service restaurants— come join the party. Visit the blog in the coming days and learn more about my Guest House adventures.

The Candlelight Vigil

A true cultural anomaly, the annual Candlelight Vigil simply defies description. On Aug. 15, throngs of Elvis fans will line Elvis Presley Boulevard, some creating artistic tributes to the king right on the asphalt. After an opening ceremony at the Gates of Graceland, a near-constant procession of fans —candles in hand— trek up Graceland’s driveway to Meditation Garden to pay tribute to the King of Rock 'n' Roll. A seemingly endless sea of flickering candles illuminate the darkness. No matter how many photos or videos you see of the Candlelight Vigil, nothing can compare to witnessing this mesmerizing event in person. With this being the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ passing, I’m expecting something even more monumental.

The Special Guests

Elvis Week never fails to give fans the opportunity to see and meet some of those who knew Elvis best. Priscilla Presley will be making a special appearance, and a who’s who of friends, colleagues, and collaborators take the stage for live interviews. The guest list looks to be extra long this year. It runs the gamut from music legends Wanda Jackson and Bill Medley to Elvis’ confidant Jerry Schilling to actress Pat Priest, who co-starred in “Easy Come, Easy Go.” Look for an exclusive Jerry Schilling Q&A coming soon to the blog.

The Live Concerts

Of course, Elvis music serves as the ultimate soundtrack throughout Elvis Week. And a cavalcade of concerts plug in for 2017. Last year’s gospel show had me floating on melodic clouds, so I’ll definitely be dancing in the aisles at The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley Celebration Concert. (8 p.m. Aug. 12. Graceland Soundstage A, Elvis Presley’s Memphis.) Thankfully, I snagged tickets to the sold-out concert, The Ultimate Return. The first 10 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist winners, including 2016 champ Dwight Icenhower, will be sharing the stage. (7 p.m. Aug. 18. Graceland Soundstage A, Elvis Presley’s Memphis.) The big kahuna, however, is Elvis: Live in Concert. (8 p.m. Aug. 16. FedEx Forum.) This 40th anniversary celebration features a full symphony orchestra performing live as Elvis sings along on a massive screen. Priscilla Presley and other surprise guests will be in attendance. Yet, that’s just the tip of the jukebox. More concerts play out during Elvis Week. Check the schedule and come back to the blog for my backstage coverage.

Posted by Elvis Presley's Graceland at 10:41 AM
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