Elvis Week keeps a-rollin’. Wipe your brow, fuel up on fried PB and nanner samwiches, and head once more into the breach.
On Thursday, August 13th, at 9:30 a.m., in front of W.C. Handy Park, a brass-note dedication ceremony will be held for Dewey Phillips, the DJ who introduced the world to Presley. At 5 p.m., there’ll be a scavenger hunt at Graceland, and at 7 p.m., the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest finals go down at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.
Friday has a 2 p.m. book launch and signing for The Genuine Elvis, by country star Ronnie McDowell, among others, at Graceland Plaza. The night rocks out with “Elvis 1969: A Celebration Concert” at the Cannon Center at 8 p.m. Live performances will merge with video and audio of Elvis’ return to the stage in Vegas back in ’69, and many of the original cast will reunite for the twice-in-a-lifetime event.
Saturday’s events start at the gates of Graceland at 8 a.m. with the Elvis Presley Run, Walk, Rock & Roll, to benefit United Cerebral Palsy of the Mid-South. “Conversations on Elvis,” where the King’s friends and associates reminisce, will drop in for two sessions at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. at the Cannon Center. And the night culminates with the Candlelight Vigil beginning at 8:30 p.m. at Graceland and ending whenever the last pilgrim has marched by Elvis’ grave, usually sometime Sunday morning — the actual anniversary of Presley’s death. Respect!
On the unsanctioned-event front, how can you go wrong with a night of drunken debauchery called “Stumbling Elvis”? On Saturday beginning at 7 p.m., downtown blogger Paul Ryburn and Mike King will lead a pub crawl starting at Flying Saucer and then stopping by Bluefin, Beale Street, Red Rooster Bar & Music Hall, and back to the Saucer, with about 30 minutes spent at each spot. Costumes are encouraged, and canned goods will be accepted for MIFA. — Greg Akers