Wednesday, August 15, 2012 (Memphis TN)—This year’s Elvis Week (the annual celebration of all things Elvis Presley, held on the anniversary of his death) was apparently every bit as huge as anticipated.
And anticipations were high since 2012 marks 35 years since Elvis died at age 42 on August 16, 1977. The “milestone” years (every five years) see bigger crowds than the years between.
Graceland estimates 75,000 people stood in line to file past Elvis’ grave on the mansion’s grounds overnight during the annual candlelight vigil.
Elvis Week usually means an exceptionally crowded Bikes on Beale night, and the opportunity to talk with fans from Europe, especially England and Germany and Switzerland.
This year, the candlelight vigil was on bike night in Memphis (Wednesday), so there were fewer foreign visitors on Beale Street to talk with than I’d hoped. Combined with the continued reduced number of motorcyclists (apparently due to this summer’s “no colors” policy on Beale), Elvis Week’s bike night was pretty much a dud.
(According to the news, the following night, Beale Street was packed with tourists.)
Heck, I didn’t even see the normal number of Elvis “tribute artists”, although we did have a visit from an older Elvis, escorted by Marilyn Monroe.
Perhaps the best “Elvis” on Beale was the Elvis-themed motorcycle, with paintings of Elvis in various phases of his career (young Elvis, Army Elvis, Vegas Elvis and baby Elvis).