Elvis Presley Fans Flood Graceland for 43rd Anniversary of His Death

by Jacklyn Krol
Elvis Presley Anniversary of Death Graceland event

Fans flooded Graceland for the 43rd anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. The event took place in Memphis, Tennessee on August 15 through 16.

Elvis Presley Anniversary Tribute

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the event looked different from years past. A limited number of people took part in the weekend’s festivities and only 720 people were able to attend the candlelight vigil.

The annual candlelight vigil had fans leave mementos, flowers, and letters to The King while processing to his grave. Health and safety measures were in place with the limited number of attendees, face masks, and social distancing measures in place. Fans got into the safety spirit and even used one of Presley’s characters to promote safety measures. Fans made pins with Presley’s Change of Habit character, Dr. Carpenter, to promote face mask wearing. Commercial Appeal shared an image of the pin that reads, “Dr. Carpenter says wear your mask, Year of the COVID, Elvis Week 2020.”

Police were stationed outside of the property with barricades to prevent other fans from illegally entering the grounds or even near the space.

The processional lasted into the early hours on Sunday morning. After the all-night memorial, fans were treated to a gospel event at Graceland’s soundstage. The week’s festivities concluded with a drive-in style film in the parking lot.

Virtual Event

Fans enjoyed the free candlelight vigil live-stream. For $39, fans were also treated to virtual panels and events with their own private Facebook group.

Even though people from all over the world came to the in-person celebration, thousands from around the globe also attended virtually.

Elvis Presley and Benjamin Keough’s Deaths

The King passed away on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42. He died in Memphis in his Graceland bathroom at 1:30 P.M. His cause of death was a heart attack most likely due to his addition with prescription barbiturates.

The anniversary of his death came just four weeks after the tragic passing of his grandson, Benjamin Keough. Keough passed away on July 12, 2020 at 27-years-old. Keough’s cause of death was suicide, a self-inflicted gunshot wound. One of his last public appearances was at his grandfather’s previous anniversary celebration.

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