Wednesday, August 15, 2007

elvis - wanted alive

August 16th, 1976. The day that will always be remembered by, well by those who remember it that way, as the day the King died. (I never "got" the whole Elvis thing, but then I missed most of it.)

Tomorrow marks the thirtieth anniversary of Elvis Presley's passing, and tonight, for the twenty-sixth time, the event will be solemnized by a single-file, candle-lit procession through the grounds of Graceland to the King's tomb. Move over, Lourdes. Here are some details taken from the Candlelight Vigil Fact Sheet/FAQ.

When does the Candlelight Vigil begin? How does it work?
The opening ceremony takes place at 8:30 p.m. on August 15, near the front gates of the mansion property. Fans gather in the street and in Graceland Plaza to see this. There is a queue line in the street. At the end of the ceremony, torches lit from the eternal flame at Elvis’s grave are brought down to the gate. The queue line starts to move as fans walk through gates and light their candles on the torches and then walk single file up the driveway to the gravesite in the Meditation Garden and back down. To accommodate everyone who is in line, the procession lasts into the morning of August 16, the anniversary of Elvis’s passing.
Graceland staff members are positioned all along the way to offer assistance. Near the front gate, Elvis fan club leaders from all over the world work in shifts to offer further assistance.

Of course, the vigil is only the highlight of the annual Elvis Week. Other events include the Graceland Scavenger Hunt, the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, Elvis Bingo, the Hunka Hunka Burnin Peppers Memphis Farmers' Market and tours of the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center. (This is actually starting to sound interesting.) It's getting late to catch the action this year, but if you're ever in the mood for a rock n' roll pilgrimage, this is the one.

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