9 Ways To Celebrate Elvis’ 81st Birthday
If Elvis was alive, he would be 81 years old tomorrow. Whether you’re a card-carrying Elvis fan club member or just like an excuse to enjoy a special day, here are nine ways to honor the King’s birthday on January 8.
1. Get some Elvis-inspired treats
Cake for everyone! (If you’re a business doing anything special for Elvis’ birthday this week or month, leave a comment or Tweet at me.)
– Frost Bake Shop (in Laurelwood Shopping Center) will offer their delicious Memphis Cream Cake and Cupcakes (banana cake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache).
– Muddy’s Bake Shops (Sanderlin Shopping Center and 585 Cooper St.) will have two Elvis-inspired treats on Friday only: The King cupcake (banana-peanut butter) and the Hunka Chunka Burnin’ Love chocolate cayenne cookie.
– Pink Diva Cupcakery (936 Florida St.) will offer special Blue Suede cupcakes on Friday and all cupcakes are buy-two-get-one-free that day (hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). So grab two friends and go to town. (Ed. Note: This is a blue cupcake filled with a blueberry compote and blue whipped cream frosting and I can confirm that it is delicious.)
– Here’s a post about a bacon banana peanut butter sandwich that’s super easy to make.
– The Arcade is going to be a little crowded this week, but that’s a great place to eat where the Elvis had his breakfast. They’re also doing a peanut butter n’ banana sandwich special: buy one, get one half-off.
2. Go to an official Elvis birthday event at Graceland
Graceland knows how to thrown down for The King. Be sure to reserve tickets or call ahead for reservations for all of the following events.
– Friday: a birthday proclamation at 9:30 a.m. on the North Lawn of Graceland (this is free to attend or you can watch via live stream here) followed by cake and coffee in the Chrome Grill, and tours of the stables (purchased day-of in the ticket pavilion)
– Saturday and Sunday: special Backbeat Tours Elvis tours (space is limited)
3. Say Happy Birthday “In Person” during free walk-up times
You can visit the Meditation Garden at Graceland for free every morning from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. This week, there are also two free night-time walk-up opportunities: from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday the 7th and Saturday the 9th.
4. Listen to Elvis/Elvis-inspired Music
– The Memphis Symphony Orchestra performs Elvis’ greatest Love Songs at 7:30 p.m. at the Cannon Center on Saturday. Tickets are $5 – $85 through the MSO website.
– Memphis Jones will perform a special Elvis-centric show at B.B. King’s on Beale Street at 5 p.m. on Friday night.
5. Take Your Picture With Elvis
If you’re downtown, stop by the statue on Beale between 2nd and Main for a photo opp with Elvis. Bonus points if you post it online and tag it #ilovememphis or #happybirthdayElvis so I can share it on Twitter or Instagram.
Bonus BONUS points if you take and post a picture dressed as Elvis/with an Elvis tribute artist/visitor dressed as Elvis.
6. Drop A Quarter in the Elvis Shrine at Goner Records
The shrine lives in a corner near the counter at Goner Records (2125 Young Ave). It’s lit from above by the primary colored light of a disco ball, and the hand-painted King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is outlined in twinkle lights. Drop in a quarter for the full benediction.
7. Check out Lansky Bros. at 126 Beale Street
Lanksy Bros., the family business that dressed Elvis, still has their locations inside the Peabody Hotel, but the newest location is where their original store was on Beale Street. There is plenty of rock ‘n’ roll-inspired attire and even some blue suede shoes, but I really dig their selection of Memphis and band t-shirts.
8. Visit Sun Studio
If you haven’t visited Sun Studio yet, make a plan to get there. The tour guides are some of the best around and the milkshakes are pretty great, too.
9. Visit Memphis’ Newest Music Attractions
So much of Memphis music influenced or was influenced by Elvis’ work. Pay homage to his inspirations and legacy at these two museums, both of which have opened since 2014.
– The Blues Hall of Fame opened last year at 421 South Main St. across from the National Civil Rights Museum. Check out tons of blues artifacts and listen to hundreds of songs Mon. – Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Happy Birthday Elvis! How are you celebrating?