Graceland To Charge People To Participate in Elvis Candlelight Vigil

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - People from around the world are here in Memphis to pay their respects to the King of Rock and Roll. But the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley comes with some changes.

 For the first time ever there will be a nearly $30 fee to participate in the once-free vigil. In the past, visitors have been able to take part in the event without paying anything extra but that has changed.

Guests will now need a property pass wristband to enter all non-ticketed areas of the Graceland property during Elvis Week.

 The Elvis Week Property Pass will give people access to Elvis Week Entertainment Tent, Ticket Pavilion, restaurants and select gift shops, and free parking after 5 p.m.


 

 These property pass wristbands are not for individual sale, they are included in Elvis Presley’s Memphis tickets.

 A one day ticket will cost you $28.75. Additional days are then available at a discounted price.

 The change comes with mixed reviews.

 "I don't see their point in having us pay," said Jim Short, who is visiting from Dayton Ohio. "I've been coming for 20 years and I've never had to pay. I think Elvis would be rolling in his grave.”

 Other Elvis fans don't see a problem with shelling out more money.

 "I think anyone that is coming here is coming out of the love for Elvis Presley and if that's what they've got to do, let's do it, man," said Dwight Icenhower who is visiting from Orlando, Florida. "Look at everything he gave us throughout the year. Let's do it."

 Elvis Presley Enterprises told Local 24 the change comes as part of updated security measures due to the large crowds expected over the next few days.

 The wristband will give visitors access to Elvis Presley's Memphis and the candlelight vigil.

 Graceland released the following statement Friday:

"This year we have updated our security measures at Graceland for Elvis Week, as we anticipate very large crowds for this 40th anniversary.  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 US.

An Elvis Week Property Pass wristband now allows guests to enter all non-ticketed parts of Graceland property throughout Elvis Week, including the Elvis Week Entertainment Tent, Ticket Pavilion, restaurants and select gift shops, plus free parking after 5 p.m. This wristband is included with a ticket to Elvis Presley's Memphis during Elvis Week (our lowest priced tour ticket).  Since the vast majority of our guests take our tour as part of their visit during Elvis Week, there is no additional cost to them.

During the Candlelight Vigil evening, we invite everyone to join us on Elvis Presley Blvd. in front of the Mansion. Guests are welcome to stay in this area throughout the evening to watch the Candlelight Vigil ceremony and observe the procession without a Property Pass.

As with all other Elvis Week events on the Graceland campus, to join the procession up to Meditation Garden, guests will need their Elvis Week Property Pass wristband. For guests who join us for Vigil night only and wish to join the procession, they will be able to purchase an Elvis Presley's Memphis tour ticket that evening and receive their Property Pass.

Graceland provides free walk-ups to Meditation Garden daily throughout the year from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., including the morning of the Candlelight Vigil (8/15), and every evening of Elvis Week, except Vigil evening, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m."

 The change comes a year after protesters were arrested outside Graceland. 


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