10 Things You Might Not Know About Elvis WeekPosted by Elvis Presley's Graceland on Jul 8, 2016 | 21 comments
Are you ready?
Elvis Week 2016 is only about a month away, and we can’t wait. There will be several concerts, like Elvis Love Songs, The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley and the Sound & Soul of Memphis, and so many panels and discussions, each with guests who have studied, worked with or were friends with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. There’s the excitement of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, and, of course, the always-emotional Candlelight Vigil. It’s a busy week, but it’s full of Elvis and Elvis fans – and that makes it the highlight of the year.
Think you know Elvis Week? Think again. Check out 10 Things You Might Not Know About Elvis Week:
1. You could run into someone from anywhere in the world.
We all know Elvis is worldwide. But it’s pretty magical to hear “I love Elvis” in accents and languages from across the globe during Elvis Week.
During Elvis Week 2015, we had visitors from Zimbabwe, Wales, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Taiwan, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Canada, Singapore, Scotland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Norway, England, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nicaragua, South Korea, Mexico, Monaco, Israel, Egypt, China, Chile, France, Germany, Belgium, and Japan. And you know what? That’s not even all of the countries. There are more. Lots more.
2. Expect the unexpected.
We like to stick to a schedule of events and a confirmed list of special guests… but sometimes, things go off-book. Special guests drop by. Exclusive previews, premieres or special announcements happen. Priscilla Presley has made a few surprise guest appearances, for example, and last year Lisa Marie Presley surprised thousands of fans when she spoke at the Candlelight Vigil.
3. You might get star-struck.
Celebrities are Elvis fans, too, and they tour Graceland often (just check out our Celebrity Visitors page). You never know when they’ll stop by – and it might be during Elvis Week. Domenico Dolce of Dolce & Gabbana stopped to tour Graceland a few years ago, as did “Pitch Perfect” actress Anna Kendrick, who was in town celebrating her birthday and stopped by to see the king’s castle.
4. The Candlelight Vigil started in 1978.
The very first Candlelight Vigil was held in 1978, the year after Elvis’ passing, by a small group of fans who gathered at the gates of Graceland. That makes this year’s vigil the 38th annual.
For the Candlelight Vigil, we shut down Elvis Presley Boulevard, and fans from around the world walk up the driveway to Elvis’ gravesite and back down carrying a candle in quiet remembrance. It’s a truly magical, meaningful moment – one not to be missed during Elvis Week. Watch a time-lapse of last year’s Candlelight Vigil.
5. Elvis fans show off their creativity.
Elvis Week is the week for fans to showcase their incredible creativity. Many fans wear their own hand-made Elvis-inspired clothes and accessories. But one of the biggest ways that fan show their love for Elvis is at the Candlelight Vigil, as Elvis Presley Boulevard is filled with tributes to Elvis. Some make elaborate chalk drawings; some create designs with candles. They’re all unique and full of love.
6. Elvis Week celebrates everything Elvis.
Elvis is everything, and Elvis Week will teach you exactly that. There are events devoted to Elvis’ music, movies, fashion, influence on pop culture and society, and much more. No matter what you love most about Elvis, you can celebrate it at Elvis Week.
7. Official Elvis Fan Clubs play a big role at Elvis Week.
Elvis has more than 400 official fan clubs worldwide. During Elvis Week, they gather to celebrate Elvis at our Fan Club Presidents’ Event and stand guard during the Candlelight Vigil on the driveway. The “Honor Guard” represents fans from around the globe, with fan club members as far away as the UK, Japan, Australia, Singapore and Brazil.
8. Elvis Week is multi-generational.
Like a puzzle, Elvis is perfect for those 8-80 – and beyond. Fans of all ages attend Elvis Week, and we love seeing several generations of families attending and celebrating Elvis together.
9. Elvis Week on a budget – it works.
There are plenty of free things to do at Elvis Week. The cornerstone event, Candlelight Vigil, is free. You can take the perfect selfie and sign the famous wall at Graceland, walk up to the Meditation Garden in the mornings and evenings, check out the free entertainment tent at Graceland Crossing, play Elvis Bingo at the Heartbreak Hotel and meet ‘n’ greet with Elvis artists like Betty Harper and Joe Petruccio. There are also free children’s activities at the Graceland ticket pavilion. Check out the Elvis Week schedule for more.
10. Twenty Elvis tribute artists will compete in this year’s Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.
Twenty of the world’s best Elvis tribute artists from across the globe – including the UK, Brazil, Japan and Australia – will gather in Memphis during Elvis Week to compete in this year’s Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, which is in its 10th year. See a recap of last year’s contest here.
See you at Elvis Week!