I am a little bit late in announcing Elvis Week this year, but the best is yet to come.Â Check out the OFFICIAL SCHEDULE.Â Still lots of great events to enjoy.Â For this week Memphis is Mecca for tens of thousands of Elvis fans, and many who just like to watch.
If you have never been to the Candlelight Vigil,Â go on down to Graceland Sunday evening.Â You don’t have to participate in the actual candlelight pilgrimage up to the Meditation Garden.Â Just being in the crowd with Elvis Presley Blvd. closed for the evening is quite an experience in itself.Â Â See you there!
Regardless of our ages, we Memphians have had Elvis in our presence as long as we can remember.Â I know folks with Elvis tattoos who weren’t even born in 1977, the year Elvis died.Â Let’s face it, the boy from Tupelo willÂ live on forever in the hearts and minds of millions (maybe billions).Â And that brings me to the annual August pilgrimage event Elvis Week,Â or as many locals refer to it – Elvis Death Week.
Well, Jimmy Buffett does a fair job here, but if you want to see REAL fake Elvi (what is the plural of Elvis?), there will be hundreds around Graceland during Elvis week – a mind-boggling array ofÂ sideburns, glasses and jeweled jumpsuits.Â And Elvis “tribute artist” competitions. But mostly, its the pilgrims, fans from all over the world, converging to worship the kingÂ and absorb the Elvis essence from August 10-16.
I think Gillian Welch captures some of the Elvis essence in this song.Â Â Wikipedia features 6 pages of entries for the search “songs about Elvis”.Â Â I will will be posting more about Elvis week.Â See you there.
Man,Â it was hot on Elvis Presley Boulevard last night.Â People pressed in from every angle, getting their candles and keeping them lit for the trip up the long walk up the Graceland hill to Elvis’ grave. The impersonators tribute artists, the pilgrims, the shrine builders, all a little wilted from the Memphis humidity.Â We didn’t make the trek could definitely feel the Elvis Energy.
That’s what these people come back for every year, for over 30years now- the Elvis Energy.Â We locals like to kid about Elvis Death Week, the Elvis look alikes, the decorations, the Elvis tats, but take away the commercial glitz and there is something real here.Â People will still be making this pilgrimage for the next 30 years, long after Michael Jackson is remembered only by an aged Wikipedia entry.
Some photos from last night.
Photos at my Flickr are available in high res and are under Creative Commons license.