Images used by permission, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
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Graceland Heats Up this Summer with New Exhibits, Elvis Week

There’s always a good reason to go to Graceland: the cars; the jets; the Jungle Room; the awards that line halls and stack up to ceilings. Even if you’ve walked these hallowed grounds before, Elvis Presley’s estate stays slick with new exhibits, seasonal tours and events. Here are my top five reasons to go to Graceland this summer:

1. See a new exhibit… With a VIP or Platinum Tour ticket, you can glimpse “ICON: The Influence of Elvis Presley” (presented by Fender). There’s a lot to see here – 75 artifacts, in fact, on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum – from a bejeweled Katy Perry costume to a pair of Justin Timberlake’s shoes. It’s fun to see how wardrobe choices like these were influenced by Elvis, but it’s downright moving to read how so many stars say they rose because of his influence: Throughout the exhibit, you can read quotes and personal notes from James Brown, Paul McCartney and other household names crediting Elvis with changing music and their lives.

2. …or two. You’ll need a VIP Tour ticket to access “Elvis…Through His Daughter’s Eyes,” but anyone who’s viewed the exhibit that Lisa Marie helped create, featuring family photos, home movies, her childhood record player and more, say it’s worth it.

Welcome to Graceland. Image used by permission, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

3. Go car-crazy. The 2012 Elvis Presley Car Show, drawing more than 100 entries from California to Canada to the Carolinas, wrapped on June 2. But the dim-lit, air-conditioned Elvis Presley Car Museum (included in Graceland’s VIP and Platinum Tours) is a cool place to hang on a hot summer day. Elvis’ love of cars is widely known (he’s thought to have purchased more than 200 automobiles in his lifetime) and you can view 33 of his favorites here – including that iconic pink Cadillac, though I personally prefer the white Mercedes convertible Priscilla lent for the display.

Paul Clark’s 1956 Cadillac won “Best Elvis-Themed Car” at the Third Annual Elvis Presley Car Show held at Graceland June 1-2. Image used by permission, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

4. Tour the Graceland Stables. Select dates through Labor Day, meet horses Max, Tucker, Bandit and Candy, and view home movie footage of Elvis on horseback at Graceland. You can see Elvis’ saddles and personal Western wear, too.

5. Be part of the 35th Annual Elvis Week. 2012 is something of a banner year for the Elvis fan-dom: Thirty years ago this month, Graceland opened to the public, and this August marks the 35th anniversary of Elvis’ death. That foreshadows a king-sized line-up, and a king-sized turnout, for the 35th Annual Elvis Week. August 10-18, you’ll find Elvis-themed events from Graceland to Beale Street, including dance parties, concerts and the free candlelight vigil on Aug. 16.

Tours of Graceland end at the site of Elvis’ grave, where visitors still lay tributes daily. I was astounded to find this letter, written by an 11-year-old girl, at the foot of Elvis’ grave. In it, she wrote that he was her hero. Make your personal pilgrimage on August 16 during the 35th Annual Elvis Week.

Hi! I’m Samantha Crespo, and I am Floridian by birth, Tennessean by heart. Growing up, I vacationed in East Tennessee, so I...Read on

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    Ajay

    I drove 3 hours to Memphis on a Tuesday night to see the performance. I was well worth it!! I love seneig old favorites and the routines. Worried about that rickty wall and cell wall!! Memphis audiances was very appreciative, Silence during Melanie’s solo. Except for one marry me, Melanie (no joke). As i drove back 3 hours that night,(work the next day) I am glad I came and worth the wait.

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    paul clark

    i just saw this and thank you very much for putting my 56 elvis CADILLAC on here. we had the time of our lives. the best experience we have ever had. after the show we came home and built 2 more elvis tribute cars, both cadillac’s ,a 1959 and a 1960 to bring back down to the 2013 and 2014 shows. i called in january and found out they cancelled the shows. the most nostalgic car show in the world and no more. we and several hundred if not thousands of people are very mad about this. it was only the 3rd and they didnt advertise it very well. i called mike gates the operations manager at least 10 time asking if not begging him to continue the show, but to no avail. my 59 is the best ELVIS TRIBUTE CAR IN THE U.S.A.. here in stlouis mo we have won 23 awards in 15 cars shows just this summer,,,it is a work of art. thanks for your time PAUL AND TIFFANY CLARK

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