This year marks the 40th anniversary of the death of music legend Elvis Presley. A yearlong celebration honoring the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s life kicks off Jan. 8, on what would have been his 82nd birthday.
The plans for August’s anniversary of his death are expected to be released some time this spring, but we’ve got plenty to satisfy our Elvis needs until then. CMT’s drama Sun Records, based on Elvis’ early years, is scheduled to premiere on Feb. 23, and a multipart Presley documentary is set to air on HBO in late summer.
In the meantime, check out a few highlights from this weekend’s lineup of birthday activities at Graceland:
Friday (January 6th)
Official Graceland Insiders Reception and Graceland Tour
6 p.m. Graceland Plaza.
A special birthday event reserved for members of the Official Graceland Insiders (anyone can pay for membership). The event includes a private evening tour of the Graceland Mansion. The event will move among Elvis' airplanes, the Elvis Presley Car Museum, Graceland Archives Experience and Sincerely Elvis. In addition, attendees to the event will get to visit the VIP exhibit Elvis in Hollywood. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bars will be available. Programming will also feature an autograph session with Robin and Gavin Koon, Elvis' co-stars in Follow That Dream; and a Q&A with award-winning producer, director and writer Andrew Solt, who owns the rights to The Ed Sullivan Show library and will be talking about Elvis’ third and final appearance on Sullivan exactly 60 years to the date of its airing. Insiders may purchase only three additional guest tickets in addition to their own. Membership cards will be required when picking up tickets. (Tickets are $49 for adults, $26 for children 7-12 and free for children 6 and under.)
9:30 p.m. to midnight, Grand Ballroom, The Guest House at Graceland.
DJ Argo spins Elvis records for your listening and dancing pleasure.
The Auction at Graceland
2:00 p.m. Guest House Theater, The Guest House at Graceland.
Fans and collectors from around the world will have the opportunity to participate on-site and online for this auction, featuring artifacts authenticated by Graceland Authenticated. All of the items in the auction will be offered from third-party collectors and none of the items included in the auction will come from the treasured Graceland Archives. The mansion and all artifacts in the Graceland Archives continue to be owned by Lisa Marie Presley and are not for sale. Registered bidders can reserve a paddle for in-person bidding; visit Graceland.com/auction.
"Elvis at the Movies" Featuring Terry Mike Jeffrey and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra
7:30 p.m. The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 N. Main., Memphis
Singer and musician Terry Mike Jeffrey joins the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, singing all the great Elvis Presley movie songs in this astonishing salute. This all-new edition features the smash hits from your Elvis film favorites. Tickets on sale through the Memphis Symphony Orchestra by calling 901-537-2500 or by visiting MemphisSymphony.org.
Elvis Happy Birthday and Gospel Tribute at the Gates of Graceland
11:59 p.m. Front of Graceland Gates.
D&N's Elvis Presley Fan Club and the Elvis Meetup Fan Club invite fans to join their annual tradition. Meet at the gates of Graceland on the eve of Elvis' birthday and join fans from across the globe singing familiar gospel songs and, of course, "Happy Birthday to Elvis."
Ribbon Cutting for The Founders Path
8:30 a.m. at The Guest House at Graceland
Fans are invited to come for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Founders Path at The Guest House. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests will be invited to walk the path from The Guest House at Graceland to Graceland Mansion to attend the Birthday Proclamation Ceremony. The Founders Path will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. for guests to use to/from the Proclamation Ceremony (weather permitting).
Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony
9:30 a.m. Graceland's North Lawn.
Birthday cake cutting and proclamation of Elvis Presley Day by Memphis and Shelby County officials. Free admission.
Birthday Cake and Coffee
10:30 a.m. Chrome Grille, Graceland Plaza.
Complimentary birthday cake and coffee served at the restaurant across the street from the mansion following the ceremony. Free to all who attend.
Check out Graceland.com for more activities and information.