Military Appreciation Weekend
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Ultimate VIP Tour

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MAP & DIRECTIONS

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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Hours

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

 

Free walk-ups to the Meditation Garden are daily from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

 

 

Military Appreciation Weekend

Military appreciation weekend

March 23 - 24, 2019

Graceland is proud to honor Active Duty Military, Veterans, First-Responders and their immediate family members. Help us celebrate our heroes and join us March 23-24 for a weekend full of events, special performances, patriotic programming and exclusive offers.

ELVIS WAS ONE OF YOU! 

In remembrance of the 61st Anniversary of Elvis’ Induction into the U.S. Army, we’ve dedicated a weekend at Graceland to recognize those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. We will be showcasing Elvis’ patriotism through a variety of different family-friendly events and activities.

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

Bret Michaels - Live in Concert 
The legendary Poison front man performs live at Graceland Soundstage Saturday night (March 23). As one of rock's most iconic and enduring bands, Poison defined the fast, gritty, and glamorous rock 'n' roll scene. Bret Michaels has sold over 35 million albums and has been in the spotlight for decades, but he is certainly showing no signs of slowing down. 

Concert Admission Prices:$49.50 Advance | $60 Day of Show (General Admission) 
FREE TICKETS for Active Military, Veterans, and First-Responders (Limited Quantity) 
      -FREE (+ FEES-ONLY) Advance
      -FREE / NO FEES Day of Show 

Get Bret Michaels Concert Tickets Now

FEES APPLICABLE ON ALL TICKETS. Active Military, Veterans, and First-Responders are eligible to reserve tickets online in advance (fees apply). Bret Michaels tickets are limited in quantity, and reserving tickets in advance guarantees you access into the show. You can avoid paying fees by getting your tickets in person at Graceland on the day of the show, and any tickets remaining will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. One ticket per valid Official ID. Free (+ Fees-Only) Tickets may be reserved online but can only be picked up at Graceland Box Office (no "Print at Home" option). Valid Identification Required at time of pickup. 

Plus: 

  • Free Entry to Museum Exhibits (with Valid Military ID)
  • Special Presentations 
  • Photo Ops with Elvis’ Presidential Medal of Freedom 
  • Veteran & Active Duty Member VIP Gatherings
  • Patriotic Mansion Lighting (Starting Monday, March 18)
  • Care Package Donation Stations (Starting Monday, March 18)
  • Kids Crafts and Activities
  • Free Limited-Edition Elvis Army Posters (Designed by Joe Petruccio) 

...and more!


Elvis Presley began his service in the United States military on March 24, 1958, when he was inducted into the U.S. Army. To salute our troops and to commemorate the 61st Anniversary of Elvis’ military service, Graceland will provide free entry tickets to the Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment and exhibit complex to Active Duty, Retired Armed Services, and First-Responders from Saturday March 23 through Sunday March 24. Graceland Military Weekend guests will also have an opportunity to have their photo taken next to Elvis Presley’s Presidential Medal of Freedom!    

Two-Day Weekend Entry Wristbands* to Elvis Presley’s Memphis (EPM) will also be available for purchase by family members and guests at an extremely discounted price of $29.50 (limit three discounted wristbands for every valid ID presented). Weekend wristbands allow guests to go in-and-out of EPM all day Saturday and Sunday (normally $29.50 per day). In addition, Active Duty Military, Veterans, First Responders and their families can be upgraded on-site and will receive 10% off tours of Graceland Mansion and/or Planes. 

*Complimentary and Discounted tickets for Elvis Presley’s Memphis and Mansion must be requested on-site at Graceland on March 23rd thru March 24th (2019) by U.S. Military Veterans, Active Members of the U.S. Military, and First Responders. Valid Identification Required.

Elvis Presley’s Memphis includes the Private Presley: Elvis in the Army Exhibit, where you can learn more about Elvis' service to his country as you walk through his induction and time spent in the service, including his time spent in Germany. Military Weekend guests will be treated to a special “show and tell” presentation from Graceland’s Archives Department representatives in the Private Presley exhibit. In addition to the special presentation, Private Presley visitors get an in-depth look at letters from Elvis’ manager Col. Parker to the Army asking for a deferment to allow Elvis to complete filming of “King Creole,” letters from the Army regarding press access to Elvis, his original Army footlocker, the dress that his mother Gladys wore at his induction ceremony, and more. Fans can also learn about how Col. Parker kept Elvis’ career alive while he was serving in Germany and see items from Frank Sinatra’s legendary “Welcome Home, Elvis” 1960 ABC television special. Special artifacts include Elvis' Army fatigues, dress uniforms, suitcases and more. 

Free limited-edition Elvis Army Posters designed by Joe Petruccio will be handed out to the first 500 people who arrive at Graceland on Saturday and Sunday! Additionally, the AAA Four Diamond-rated The Guest House at Graceland resort hotel will offer its “Salute the Heroes” discounted rate of 50% off the best available rate* to Active Duty Military, Veterans and First Responders who are looking for overnight accommodations just steps away from all of the weekend activities.

*Limited availability. Valid for active duty, reservist and retired, law enforcement, firefighters and armed forces. Not valid for groups – one room limit per ID, per night. Valid government ID card (or dependent ID card) required at check-in. Learn more.


GRACELAND’S MILITARY APPRECIATION WEEKEND
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Monday, March 18 - Sunday, March 24
Patriotic Mansion Lighting (Daily at Sunset)
Graceland mansion will light up red, white and blue all week to showcase our appreciation for Active Duty and retired U.S. Armed Forces members. Watch the mansion light up each night on the Graceland live cam beginning Monday March 18th through Sunday March 24th! 
Care Package Donation Station at Graceland Crossing (10:00am-4:00pm Daily | Free Parking)
Graceland will be collecting care package items for Deployed Service Members, Veterans, Recruit Graduates and First Responders in the days leading up to Military Appreciation Weekend and throughout the weekend. Donations will be collected starting Monday March 18th and shipped to our nation's heroes through Operation Gratitude. Guests are encouraged to visit the public drop-off point at Graceland Crossing, located at 3727 Elvis Presley Blvd. Click here to see wish list items.
Saturday, March 23
9:00am | Presentation of Colors (Entrance of Elvis Presley’s Memphis)  
Guests are invited to arrive early and observe a flag raising ceremony by uniformed flag bearers, who will also lead a recitation of The Pledge of Allegiance followed by a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 
9:00am-4:30pm (All Day) | Care Package Donation Station at Graceland Box Office 
Graceland will be collecting care package items for Deployed Service Members, Veterans, Recruit Graduates and First Responders throughout the weekend. Donations will be shipped to our nation’s heroes through Operation Gratitude. Guests are encouraged to visit the drop-off point located at the entrance of Graceland’s ticketing box office to donate some of the most requested items by Armed Forces overseas. Click here to see wish list items.
10:00am-4:30pm: (All Day) | Family Drop-In Activities at The Hollywood Backlot Exhibit

Write a Letter to Our Heroes: Take the opportunity to thank a Deployed Service Member, Veteran, Recruit Graduate or First Responder by writing a letter in the Hollywood Backlot Exhibit. Letters will be sent to our nation’s heroes through  Operation Gratitude

Kids Crafts: Clothespin Military Planes, Styrofoam Bowl Army Helmets, and Egg Carton Tanks: Get hands-on at this family activity where kids of all ages will learn how to create a variety fun military-themed crafts out of everyday household items such as clothespins, egg crates, and take-out containers.   

4:30pm | Retiring of Colors (Entrance of Elvis Presley’s Memphis) 

To signal the end of the daytime activities, a flag lowering ceremony will be performed by uniformed flag-bearers followed by a playing of the “Retreat” song followed by “To the Colors” – similar to the daily ceremony held at all Army installations as the national flag is lowered at the end of each day. This ceremony is one of the oldest traditions in the U.S. Army, which dates back to the Revolutionary War.

8:00pm | SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: Bret Michaels at Graceland Soundstage 

Doors open at 7:00pm.
The legendary Poison frontman performs live at Graceland Soundstage Saturday night (March 23). As one of rock's most iconic and enduring bands, Poison defined the fast, gritty, and glamorous rock 'n' roll scene. Bret Michaels has sold over 35 million albums and has been in the spotlight for decades, but he is certainly showing no signs of slowing down. 

Concert Admission Prices: 
$49.50 Advance | $60 Day of Show (General Admission) 
FREE TICKETS for Active Military, Veterans, and First-Responders (Limited Quantity) 
      -FREE (+ FEES-ONLY) Advance
      -FREE / NO FEES Day of Show 

Get Bret Michaels Tickets Now

FEES APPLICABLE ON ALL TICKETS. Active Military, Veterans, and First-Responders are eligible to reserve tickets online in advance (fees apply). Bret Michaels tickets are limited in quantity, and reserving tickets in advance guarantees you access into the show. You can avoid paying fees by getting your tickets in person at Graceland on the day of the show, and any tickets remaining will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. One ticket per valid Official ID. Free (+ Fees-Only) Tickets may be reserved online but can only be picked up at Graceland Box Office (no "Print at Home" option). Valid Identification Required at time of pickup. 

Sunday, March 24
9:00am | Presentation of Colors (Entrance of Elvis Presley’s Memphis)  

Guests are invited to arrive early and observe a flag raising ceremony by uniformed flag bearers, who will also lead a recitation of The Pledge of Allegiance followed by a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

9:00am-4:30pm (All Day) | Care Package Donation Station at Graceland Box Office 

Graceland will be collecting care package items for Deployed Service Members, Veterans, Recruit Graduates and First Responders throughout the weekend. Donations will be collected and shipped to our nation's heroes following Military Appreciation Weekend. Guests are encouraged to visit the drop-off point located at the entrance of Graceland’s ticketing box office to donate some of the most requested items by Armed Forces overseas. Click here to see wish list items.

9:30am-11:00am | Veteran & Active Duty Member VIP Gathering (Private Presley): Special Military-Themed Archives “Show and Tell” Presentation 

Join representatives from Graceland’s prestigious Archives Department for stories and an up-close and personal look at special artifacts from Elvis’ time in The US Army. 

10:00am-4:30pm: (All Day) | Family Drop-In Activities at The Hollywood Backlot Exhibit

Write a Letter to Our Heroes: Take the opportunity to thank a Deployed Service Member, Veteran, Recruit Graduate or First Responder by writing a letter in the Hollywood Backlot Exhibit. Letters will be sent to our nation’s heroes through  Operation Gratitude.

Kids Crafts: Paper Soldiers and Patriotic Head Bands: ;
Young artists can spend time creating paper soldiers and crafting patriotic head bands during this hands-on family activity. 

11:30am-2:30pm | Photo Op with Elvis Presley’s Presidential Medal of Freedom (Private Presley) 

Elvis Presley was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018. The posthumous award bestowed by the President is — along with the Congressional Gold Medal — the highest civilian award in the United States. It recognizes those people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." The medal was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize notable service in the war. In 1963, President Kennedy reintroduced it as an honor for distinguished civilian service in peacetime.

4:30pm | Retiring of Colors (Entrance of Elvis Presley’s Memphis) 

To signal the end of the daytime activities, a flag lowering ceremony will be performed by uniformed flag-bearers followed by a playing of the “Retreat” song followed by “To the Colors” – similar to the daily ceremony held at all Army installations as the national flag is lowered at the end of each day. This ceremony is one of the oldest traditions in the U.S. Army, which dates back to the Revolutionary War.


ELVIS IN THE MILITARY 

On March 24, 1958, Elvis was inducted into the United States Army at the Memphis Draft Board and assigned serial number 53310761. On March 25, at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, he received his indoctrination exam and traditional, military, G.I. haircut in front of 55 media photographers. Elvis commented to the crowd, “Hair today, gone tomorrow.”

Elvis received basic training at Fort Hood, Texas. Private Presley was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood and received advanced tank instruction. Elvis completed his basic training by the end of May. He earned a marksman's medal and was classified as a sharpshooter with a pistol. Elvis also was named acting assistant leader of his squad. Elvis was stationed there for six months and his parents joined him at a temporary home near the base.

In August 1958, Gladys Presley became ill and returned to Memphis where she was hospitalized with acute hepatitis. As her condition became more serious, Elvis requested emergency leave. He arrived in Memphis on the afternoon of August 12th. Gladys Presley died in the early hours of August 14th at the age of 46. She lay in state at Graceland and services were held at the Memphis Funeral Home on August 15th. Elvis was devastated by his mother’s passing. They had always been very close and giving his mother and father a better life had been one of the most heartfelt ambitions in his professional pursuits. He returned to his Army duties on August 25th.

Elvis left the U.S. for his eighteen-month assignment to West Germany in September 1958. Elvis was assigned to Company C, a scout platoon frequently on maneuvers. It was hoped that in this capacity, Private Presley would be largely out of the public eye and able to do his duty as an active member of the U.S. Army. His father Vernon Presley and grandmother Minnie Mae Presley lived with him in his off-base residence in Bad Nauheim. Company C left for maneuvers in Grafenwohr, Bavaria, located on the Czech border on November 2, 1958. Here, Elvis endured the same field conditions as every other soldier. Elvis achieved the rank of private first class in November 1958, specialist fourth class in June 1959, and sergeant in January 1960. He was honorably discharged on March 5, 1960.

Part of Elvis’ personal commitment was that he did not perform during his two years in the service though he was often asked to do so. Save for a quick recording session on his first leave from Fort Hood in June 1958 after completing basic training, he took a two-year hiatus from his career. But his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, kept the promotional machinery running, orchestrating continuing record releases, merchandising and special fan communications and taking full advantage of the intense press interest in the most famous soldier of the time, all the while making plans with Elvis for the resumption of his career once he returned to civilian life in March 1960. Elvis served his country just like any other G.I., with none of the special privileges his celebrity status might have afforded him. He was, by all accounts, a model soldier, earning the lasting respect of his fellow soldiers and the public at large. Elvis worried what the long time away from performing, recording and acting might mean for his career. His fans, however, remained steadfast, new audiences would embrace him and many of his greatest achievements still lay ahead.

Elvis returned home to Graceland in March 1960 with great press and public fanfare. He quickly went back to the recording studio producing his album “Elvis Is Back!”, which would hit number two on the charts with three singles going to number one. He starred in Frank Sinatra’s “Welcome Home, Elvis” ABC TV special. For this appearance, he was paid $125,000, a record sum at the time. Then, it was back to the movie studio to resume his film career with the musical romantic comedy “G.I. Blues”, which took advantage of the attention on Elvis’ real-life army service and became a smash hit.


MORE ABOUT THE SPECIAL OFFERS*

Complimentary and Discounted tickets for Elvis Presley’s Memphis must be requested on-site at Graceland on March 23rd thru March 24th (2019) by U.S. Military Veterans, Active Members of the U.S. Military, and First Responders. Valid Identification Required.

The AAA Four Diamond Guest House at Graceland resort hotel will offer a special Military Appreciate discounted rate of 50% Off Best Available Rate per night to active military, veterans, and first responders. The Guest House at Graceland accommodations at the Military Appreciation Weekend discounted rate have limited availability. Reserve Guest House accommodations in advance by calling 800-238-2000 or visiting GuestHouseGraceland.com. Valid Identification Required. Learn more.

*Special offer for free ticket to Elvis Presley’s Memphis complex is valid for active members of the U.S. Military, Veterans, and First Responders on Saturday, March 23 and Sunday, March 24 (2019). Complimentary tickets cannot be reserved in advance. Tickets must be requested on site at Graceland on March 23 or March 24 and must be used on that day. Complimentary tickets can be upgraded on site for a fee to include tour of Graceland Mansion and/or Planes. Ticket cannot be transferred, distributed or resold. Families of military veterans and active military can receive 10% off Mansion Only Tour, Elvis Experience Tour, and Elvis Entourage VIP Tour for up to six individuals (these tickets must be purchased by the qualifying person in one transaction with one payment). Discounts cannot be combined and do not apply to special events. The discounted tickets must be purchased directly from the Graceland Ticket Office. Discounts/refunds cannot be applied after the ticket purchase has been completed and do not apply to prior purchases.