Long Live The King: Why You Should Visit Graceland



(CREDIT: MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY)


I believe that Elvis Presley is one of the founding fathers of American Music. A person can say his song Hound Dog is his Declaration of Independence from the music constraints of the era. Presley's Can't Help Falling In Love is his Constitution describing how love is vital to the creation of great music. Just as tourists flock to Washington D.C. to see the Washington Monument or Springfield, Illinois to see Lincoln's Log Cabin, a patriot must venture to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee to pay homage to the king. I had the opportunity to speak with Alicia Dean, Marketing Promotions & Events Specialist, to learn more about Graceland.


1. Should someone visit Graceland?

Everyone should visit Graceland at least once in their life! Graceland has seen more than 21 million visitors since we opened as a tourist attraction in 1982, so we are not only a popular tourist destination, we are a destination for those interested in history, music and pop culture…. And of course, Elvis Presley!


(Image courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. Image is titled: Presley Promoting JailHouse Work 1957).


2. How does Graceland honor the life of Elvis Presley?

Graceland honors the life and legacy of Elvis Presley every single day in many different ways. By preserving his home and belongings with a team of archivists, we are keeping the legacy of Elvis Presley alive for future generations to learn and enjoy. We host events all year long to celebrate Elvis, including the Elvis Birthday Celebration in January and Elvis Week in August, and during these events, we are honoring Elvis in every way imaginable.


(CREDIT: MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY)

3. How did Graceland evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic? Graceland evolved and adapted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, like many other tourist attractions were forced to do. We followed, and continue to follow, our local Health Department guidelines, including social distancing, mask requirements and other guidelines put into place to keep everyone safe. One new aspect of the Graceland tour that came from the pandemic was our offering of virtual tours of Graceland. We developed multiple tour options for our fan base, and we continue to offer these virtual tours to this day.


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(Gif courtesy of Wix.com )

4.What is the future of Graceland? Since my time working at Graceland (since 2007) I have seen so much development and change take place here. In the past five years, we’ve added The Guest House at Graceland which is a 4 Diamond 450-room hotel, Elvis Presley’s Memphis which is a 200 square foot entertainment and exhibit complex, Graceland’s newly updated Chapel in the Woods, and the Graceland Exhibition Center which is 80,000 square foot exhibition space that houses various traveling exhibitions throughout the year. The exhibit that has a current resident at the Graceland Exhibition Center is The Walt Disney Archives Exhibit, which will be in Memphis until January 2022. With that being said, the future of Graceland is limitless. We now have the facilities to host traveling exhibits, concerts, conventions, tv and movie filming, and so much more.



(CREDIT: SUNSET BOULEVARD/CORBIS/GETTY)



Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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