The Elvis Presley ashtrays and ceramic pink Cadillacs will be for sale, and knowledge of Elvis trivia is at a premium, as fans and tourists converge on Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., for the 11th anniversary of the singer's death.
The pilgrimage continues, long after even Graceland executives imagined that it might. And last year's 10th anniversary events served to magnify, rather than conclude, interest in the king of rock 'n' roll, said spokesman Todd Morgan."We expect to see a lot of new faces," Morgan said.
Unlike in the past, however, Elvis International Tribute Week, Aug. 13-21, will climax early.
The night of Aug. 15 mournful fans will carry candles up the driveway of Graceland to Elvis's grave behind the mansion, while his more melancholy songs play on a loudspeaker. The singer died Aug. 16, 1977.
Later in the week comes the usual trivia contests, reunion concert and other yearly events that previously built up to the candlelight ceremony.
"I think this year they'll all get in on the first weekend, and it will build up immediately, and then start tapering off," Morgan said.
Between 30,000 and 35,000 fans are expected to attend Elvis week, down from last year's estimated 50,000.
Graceland officials recently confirmed that the estate is worth about $50 million, compared with $5 million when Presley died.