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Fans who attended the annual candlelight vigil for Elvis Presley at the singer’s late home were treated to two surprise guests last night. For the first time, the King’s former wife Priscilla and his daughter Lisa Marie took in the festivities. They told the crowd they’d always stayed away fearing it would be “too emotional”, but on the thirty-fifth anniversary of Elvis’ early death, they felt coming was the right decision.
According to Commercial Appeal, last night’s event drew an estimated seventy-five thousand people, some of whom, of course, were dressed like the King. Most will no doubt remain for the rest of the week as Memphis is engulfed in plenty more Elvis-related festivities including concerts, hip-shaking contests and tons of food-related events.
The yearly celebration always brings in a crowd in the five figures, but on anniversaries ending in 5 or 0, the numbers always swell. This year was no exception, and analysts are estimating, when all is said and done, more people will walk through Graceland this week than during the event five years ago. More than likely, that figure will be dwarfed in fifteen years, however, when the world marks the fiftieth anniversary of the King’s death.
If last night’s ceremony is indicative of anything, it’s that Presley’s memory still has an affect on legions of fans who care just as deeply as they did when he passed in 1977.