Priscilla Presley, Fans Honor Elvis Presley During 2021 Elvis Week Events

by Matthew Memrick

Priscilla Presley talked to globetrotting fans at Graceland to usher in Memphis’s 2021 Elvis Week events this week. Events started on Aug. 11 and continued through Aug. 17.

On Sunday, Elvis’ ex-wife and his adoring fans took part in a candlelight vigil 44 years after the singer’s death. The Memphis Commercial Appeal estimated that 5,000 attended the event at the late performer’s mansion.

The 76-year-old woman related that it was still hard for her to believe he was gone. It was her first appearance in two years, citing family issues.

“Elvis was one of a kind,” Priscilla Presley said. “He really was. When he walked into a room, it was like, whoa, what just blew in?”

She talked about his fans and that after they made him, he never forgot them in his life.

After Presley spoke, fans lit candles at 8:42 p.m. and commemorated the event with a moment of silence. The event wrapped up around 2 p.m. Monday. Elvis fan clubs, friends of the late performer, and others took part in the walk to the gravesite. 

Besides concerts, there were tours of the Graceland stables, a cocktail party hosted by Priscilla Presley and an outdoor screening of the 1961 Elvis movie “Blue Hawaii.”

According to WJHL, 40,000 mourners returned for the 40th anniversary of Presley’s death.

Elvis Week A Grand Spectacle

Elvis Presley Enterprises put together an excellent week for fans who traveled from far and wide.

Earlier Sunday, TCB Band member Glen Hardin and singer/musician Terry Mike Jeffery performed many of Presley’s hits. They also told stories of being with “The King of Rock and Roll” on the road.

The pandemic canceled last year’s events, except the vigil. But many of the faithful returned in force for this year. This year, officials encouraged masks, but many went without them during the watch.

Some took in the experience for the first time.

“It’s been like a religious experience for me, I’m not kidding,” said Angela Kees. “It has totally changed me.”

The 51-year-old woman told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal she was a first-time vigil attendee. She admitted she was a fan before, but this year’s time at Graceland and seeing fans “made an impact” on her.

Elvis’ Mansion A Public Event

Daughter Lisa Marie Presley inherited her father’s estate after his 1977 death. Her mother, Priscilla Presley, worked hard to keep the mansion after lawyers advised her to sell it.

The family worked hard and sought advice in opening Graceland to the public in 1982. Since the public introduction, Graceland has become one of the top tourist attractions in the world. Lisa Marie Presley had a 100 percent ownership in the mansion.

In 2016, WREG reported that the mansion took in its 20 millionth visitor.