MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Graceland invited fans to celebrate what would have been the King of Rock’n’Roll’s 86th birthday.
Fans from all over the U.S. were in attendance Friday morning. It gave them a taste of happiness during a tough time in the country.
For some, it was not the first time they came to celebrate his birthday. “I’ve been coming to the birthday celebration since the ’90s,” said Cindy from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“Probably my 12th time. Love it,” said Caroline from Nashville, Tennessee.
Graceland’s Vice President of Archives and Exhibitions Angie Marchese said they had to make quite a few changes to the event this year to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
“In a non-COVID year our proclamation would normally be on the mansion grounds with the mansion in the background. Everyone would have been crowded around the stage taking pictures of the cake. This year we moved it across the street so that we could see everyone socially distanced,” said Marchese.
Seats were spaced and visitors wore masks, but the energy and dedication from the fans were still felt.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris was in attendance to announce the proclamation of Elvis Presley Day.
“At the age of 13 Elvis moved to Memphis, Tennessee where his distinctive God-given gifts as a musician and entertainer would find their fullest voice,” Harris said while speaking to the audience.
Last year tourism took a hit in the city. The pandemic has not eased up.
For CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Jack Soden, Friday’s event was a welcome sight.
“We’re reminded in years like this that traditions are important. And if you can keep it, it’s worth the effort,” said Soden.