Elvis fans converge on Graceland: 'It's what they live for.' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Anniversary of Elvis' death is 'what fans live for'

(WMC-TV) – Elvis fans from around the world converged on Graceland to pay homage to the King of Rock and Roll.

Priscilla Presley made a special guest appearance at Elvis' beloved Graceland mansion Wednesday morning. She spoke about her efforts to open his home up to the public more than 30 years ago. Lisa Marie Presley was also there to thank fans for their continued support.

Wednesday evening, a candlelight vigil was held at the mansion where an estimated 75,000 fans, tribute artists, and entertainers paid tribute to The King.

Fifteen years ago, one couple decided to spend their honeymoon in Graceland on the anniversary of Elvis' death. They live in Australia and have been coming back to Memphis every year since.

"We've always been Elvis fans and we both had such an admiration for Elvis that the ultimate honeymoon or even holiday would be to come to Graceland," said Christian Drummond.

He said the others who make the same trip to Graceland each August are part of their family.

"Elvis was absolutely huge when I was growing up and who would ever think as an 11 or 12 year old that you're ever gonna be sitting outside the gates of Graceland as an adult, as a father, as a grandfather, all of these years later. It's a dream come true and for any Elvis fan, this is the Mecca, it's what they live for," he said.

Kavan Hashemian has not missed an August trip to Graceland since he was a little kid.

"We like sitting out here with our candles and this is kind of our tribute to Elvis out here and we like seeing people come and go and wait until the line does down a little, then we make our way up to the house."

"I grew up on Elvis music," said Dawn Walsh, who came to Memphis from St. Louis. "I love learning more about him, passionate about learning more about the man. We all know he has incredible music, amazing talent, and never will be anyone like him again."

In the final days of Elvis Week, there are several events that fans can take part in to commemorate The King.

• 35th Anniversary Concert

August 16 at FedEx Forum

The company will feature Elvis on stage via video, accompanied by a live group of singers and musicians who have worked with him. The concert is sold out.

• Fan Club Presidents' Event
10:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 14
Main Stage Entertainment Pavilion at Graceland

• Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Showcase
1:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 14
Main Stage Entertainment Pavilion at Graceland

• EP Party Jam
10:00 a.m., Thursday, August 16
Main Stage Entertainment Pavilion at Graceland

• Conversations on Elvis - Behind the Stage
1:30 p.m., Friday, August 17
Main Stage Entertainment Pavilion at Graceland

• Morning Gospel Singin' With First Assembly of God, Memphis
9:00 a.m., Saturday, August 18
Main Stage Entertainment Pavilion at Graceland

• Elvis Week Farewell Dance Party Featuring Terry Mike Jeffrey and Jamie Aaron Kelley
10:30 p.m. - 1:00 a.m., Saturday, August 18
Main Stage Entertainment Pavilion at Graceland

Support for the King of Rock and Roll is so strong right now that the Elvis website crashed Wednesday.

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