The 2008 event will feature several new activities and entertainment including “Elvis, From Broadway to Memphis.” This first-ever production will include a state-of-the-art, video-projected Elvis performing with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Broadway stars Leah Hocking, Austin Miller, 2007 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist winner Shawn Klush and the rockabilly group The Dempseys. Two shows will be held on August 16th at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis.
Following its overwhelming popularity in 2007, two nights of “Music and Movies at Graceland,” featuring live entertainment and a movie on the front lawn of Graceland, will be held on August 11th and 12th. Featured artists will include The Imperials, Andy Childs and his band and Terry Mike Jeffrey and Band. Films shown will be Jailhouse Rock and Elvis: That’s The Way It Is.
For the second year, EPE is presenting the wildly successful Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. More than 20 competitions are being held around the world, selecting the top Elvis tribute artists that “best represent the legacy of Elvis Presley,” to compete for a spot in the Memphis semifinals on August 13th and finals on August 14th.
Elvis Week kicks off on August 9th at 8 a.m. with the Annual Elvis Presley International 5K Run to Benefit United Cerebral Palsy, starting with thousands of Elvis fans and runners in front of Graceland. It is one of several charity fundraisers scheduled.
Additional events are planned throughout the city, including the DVD theatrical premiere of Elvis Presley – His Home, His Story. Three screenings on each day will be held at Malco’s Studio on the Square on August 9th and 13th. The new DVD features photos from the Graceland archives, home movies and more. The day will culminate with a special event at Autozone Park as the Memphis Redbirds baseball team welcomes Elvis fans to town with a special event showcasing Elvis-themed entertainment, fireworks and more.
Sunday, August 10th, begins with a special Elvis Gospel brunch in the Elvis Presley Car Museum and ends with a special Club Elvis dance and party for fans in Graceland Plaza.
Also on August 12th at 11:00 a.m., The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Meet ‘n’ Greet will be held at the Hard Rock Café, followed by the 2007 winner Shawn Klush performing at the Cannon Center. His opening act will be comedian Sammy Shore, who opened for Elvis in Las Vegas from 1969-1972.
Elvis Expo 2008 will be held on August 13th and 14th at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. It is the world’s largest Elvis trade show, with more than 75 booths and 35,000 square feet that includes all the latest Elvis music, movies, merchandise, celebrity autograph sessions, authors, artists and photographers. Guests appearing in the showroom include: actress Darlene Tompkins (Blue Hawaii and Fun in Acapulco), dancer Tanya Lemani George (‘68 Special), singer Joanne Cash, The Imperials, DJ Fontana, Celeste Yarnall (co-star in Live A Little, Love a Little), Francine York (co-star in Tickle Me) and more.
As an Elvis Week exclusive, for the first time ever Robert F.X. Sillerman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CKX Inc., parent company of Elvis Presley Enterprises, will be a special guest at The Official Elvis Insiders Conference. The event on August 13 and 14 features two full days of special guests and programming produced by Elvis Presley Enterprises, including on-stage interviews with people who were part of Elvis’ life and career. Special guests include Dixie Locke Emmons, who dated Elvis early in his career; Mike Stoller, songwriter for numerous Elvis hits including “Jailhouse Rock,” “King Creole,” “Hound Dog,” “Treat Me Nice,” and “Love Me”; Sammy Shore; Celeste Yarnall; Jerry Schilling; Francine York; Edward Faulkner; Susan Henning, who appeared in Live A Little, Love A Little and the ‘68 Special; Joe Guercio, Elvis’ musical director and conductor for concerts from the summer of 1970 to the summer of 1977; Steve Binder, producer of Elvis’ ‘68 Special; and progressive Italian DJ, Spankox who remixed Elvis’ classic “Baby Let’s Play House.” Additional guests to be announced.
The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Semifinals will be held at 7:00 p.m. on August 13th at the Cannon Center. Finalists chosen from this round will return on August 14th to compete for the title of Elvis Tribute Artist of the Year.
The largest Elvis Week event is the annual Candlelight Vigil on August 15th starting at 8:30 p.m. Thousands of fans walk up the driveway to Elvis’ gravesite and back down carrying a candle in quiet remembrance. Gates remain open until all who wish to participate in the procession have done so, which typically takes until the early morning hours of August 16, the anniversary date of Elvis’ passing.
Throughout the week, live ongoing presentations of Elvis music will be performed by various singers and bands in the area across the street from Graceland. Other activities will include the Elvis Week Art Contest & Exhibit, Kid’s Karaoke, Children’s Elvis Week Art Activities and more.
Special ticket packages as well as tickets for individual events are now available. Visit ElvisWeek.com for detailed ticket and event information.