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.
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.
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.