Tens of thousands of Elvis fans join Priscilla and Lisa Marie for candlelit vigil
August 17, 2017
Elvis Biography, Elvis Articles, Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis News
Priscilla Presley, 72, was seen greeting fans before the event on Tuesday, as they arrived at the 13.8-acre Memphis, Tennessee estate for the gathering.
And Lisa Marie Presley, 49, lit candles for mourners as they gathered to remember the King of Rock 'n' Roll, holding their lights aloft throughout the vigil, which continued on into Wednesday.
Organizers had planned for as many as 50,000 people at the event, which runs every year on the anniversary of his death.
But this year's caused some consternation as visitors were charged $28.75 to attend - a first, at an event that is usually free of charge.
'In order to keep everyone safe and ensure an enjoyable and meaningful event for all, we have worked closely with local, state and federal security authorities to establish new procedures that have been widely used across the U.S.', Graceland's statement said.
Some fans objected to the decision to charge an entry fee.
Love: Fans had traveled from all across America - and the rest of the world - to pay respect to the memory of the departed King of Rock and Roll.
Longtime fan Fred Schwarz of Springfield, Illinois, said Tuesday that he and his wife have been to several vigils and have enjoyed them. But not this year. He says fans should be insulted at the new charge. 'I looked forward to going down there this year, and they come up with all this', he said. 'I don't want to even go to Memphis anymore. The people running that are not Elvis fans. They are in business. Corporations, they want the bottom line'.
Memorial: Visitors are seen here taking part in the vigil outside the Graceland mansion, where Elvis died of a heart attack some 40 years ago.
Others didn't mind the charge. Joe Makowski, who saw Presley more than 80 times in concert and came to Graceland after Presley died in 1977, said the cost of security justified a charge, and added that similar charges are seen at other tourist attractions.
'It goes along with the territory of the popularity of Elvis', said Makowski, of St. Petersburg, Florida. 'There's a price for that as well, to accommodate all the people'.
Priscilla and Lisa Marie thanked the crowd for their love and dedication before the amassed Elvis fanatics began a slow procession through Graceland.
Greeting: Priscilla Presley is seen left on Tuesday afternoon greeting visitors to an overnight vigil in memory of her ex-husband, Elvis.
Relevant Links :
Elvis: 40 years on ... and the world turns ... By Mark Cunliffe
Elvis Presley & The Events of 1977 By David Troedson
Elvis Presley Dies at 42
Australian Press 1977
Elvis' Last Will And Testament
A Broken Heart... Hastened Death
World's At Standstill For Elvis' Fiancee
Firemen's Call To Graceland Was Anything But Routine
Elvis Presley Biography
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