As many Elvis fans know, January 8th marks what would have been the King’s 74th birthday had he not died in August 1977. Naturally, people from Graceland and beyond are celebrating in a variety of different ways. If you’re so lucky to live in or around Memphis, you can enjoy the Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration from today through Sunday, January 11th.
Earlier today, Elvis fans met at the front gates of Graceland at midnight, sang gospel songs and, of course, Happy Birthday to Elvis. Later in the morning, Priscilla Presley hosted a birthday celebration on Graceland’s north lawn, which was broadcast across the country via streaming livecam on the Elvis Official Website. The rest of the day is appropriately filled with songs, dancing, tours of Graceland and everything Elvis.
On the 9th, the celebration continues with a special lunch at Marlowe’s. Famous for its ribs and its proximity to Graceland, Marlowe’s will offer Elvis door prizes and special guests.
January 10th celebrates Elvis in an unusual, but fun fashion. Fans are invited to the Elvis Birthday Celebration hockey game between the Mississippi RiverKings and the Texas Brahmas. Doors open at 6:00 PM with the first 1,000 fans receiving an Elvis themed hockey puck. There will be a “Rock-a-Hula” hula hoop contest, Elvis music, trivia and film clips playing throughout the evening. Tickets are $10.
If hockey isn’t your thing, the Elvis Presley Birthday Pops concert will be offered at 8:00 PM at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis. Tickets are available at the box office (901-537-2525).
Wind down by taking one of the many Graceland tours. Tickets can be purchased online and over the phone (800-238-2000). Fans wanting to pay their respects to Elvis can do so for free during certain times of the day. During the winter from 7:30 – 8:30 AM, fans can go to Graceland’s Meditation Garden where Elvis and members of his family are buried. During the Elvis Birthday Celebration, you can go for free from 6:00 – 8:00 PM on January 7 – 10.
If you’re like me and can’t get to Memphis, celebrate Elvis in your own way. Plan a dinner or dessert involving Elvis’ favorite foods. Marc Brazeau has a wonderful collection of recipes and stories on his Squidoo page, The Ravenous Guide to Eating Like Elvis. Find recipes for his favorite Poundcake, Baked Apple and Sweet Potato Pudding and of course, the hallowed Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich.
After dinner, turn on the TV. TCM will be running Elvis movies all day today and at 9:30 PM ET, TVLand will air the special, Elvis by the Presleys. The documentary features a series of interviews with Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie and other members of Elvis’ family, accompanied by photographs and home movies from the Presley Estate.
Just don’t forget to take the time to sit down, turn on an Elvis CD and take in the music that caused all this hubbub and devotion in the first place.
Elvis Official Website
Marc Brazeau, The Ravenous Guide to Eating Like Elvis, Squidoo.com