9 Ways To Celebrate Elvis’ 84th Birthday
If Elvis was alive, he would be 84 years old on January 8, 2019. 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. Top photo by Vasha Hunt. All rights reserved by Memphis Tourism.
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.)
– Here’s a post about a bacon banana peanut butter sandwich that’s super easy to make.
– Or, you can head over to Elvis Presley’s Memphis (the entertainment complex across the street from Graceland ) to the “Gladys’ Diner” restaurant and order your very own PB&B sammy for $4.49.
– The Arcade restaurant in downtown Memphis was one of Elvis’ favorite spots, and they still serve up a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. This week, they’re also offering a banana cake with peanut butter frosting and a “Shake It Like The King” boozy milkshake. The Arcade will have life size cut outs to take pictures with next to his favorite table. I’d expect it to be pretty crowded this week with all the festivities, so plan ahead.
2. Go to an official Elvis birthday event at Graceland.
Graceland knows how to thrown down for The King, and they’ll have events January 5 – 8. Be sure to reserve tickets or call ahead for reservations. Most of the events usually sell out well in advance, but a couple are free and first-come, first-serve:
– There’s a Christmas at Graceland screening at The Guest House hotel theater on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. It’s free, first-come, first-serve, with limited seating.
– Join in the Viva Las Vegas singalong at The Guest House hotel theater at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6 Free, first-come, first-serve
– On Monday night, January 7th, there’s a birthday bash ($70 adults, $40 kids) and you’ll need tickets ahead of time.
– On Tuesday January 8th at 9:30 a.m., there’s the annual Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony on the Graceland’s front lawn, including a birthday cake cutting and Elvis Day proclaimed by Memphis officials. You can watch this streaming here. Coffee and cake service will follow across the street at Vernon’s Smokehouse (complimentary).
– Graceland is still decorated for the holidays through January 9, and open for tours.
Get a full list of events here.
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. There are also a few night-time walk-up opportunities: from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. January 5, 6, and 8.
4. Listen to Elvis/Elvis-inspired Music
– Memphis Symphony Orchestra presents Memphis Symphony’s Elvis In Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Celebrate the b-day of the King with the Memphis Symphony and guest tribute artist Terry Mike Jeffrey, as they – with Graceland’s blessing – perform some of the King’s most legendary hits from his Vegas years.
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
Lansky 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 Other Memphis Music Attractions
So much of Memphis music influenced or was influenced by Elvis’ work. Pay homage to his inspirations and legacy at these other museums.
– The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is a Smithsonian-associated museum that tells the story of Memphis music across genres and time periods. I love how it looks at the city’s musical history as a whole, and uses first-person accounts (mostly audio recordings) to really dig deep.
– The Blues Hall of Fame is 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?
Ed Note: This is an updated post from 2016.