Graceland decks the halls for Holiday Lighting Weekend
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Graceland kicked off the holiday season in Memphis on Thursday night. The annual holiday lighting ceremony took place outside the King’s house in frigid Memphis weather.
Beautiful blue lights now line the driveway up to the mansion. A life-sized nativity scene is on the front lawn. And a giant “Merry Christmas to All” sign is out there, too.
Up-and-coming stars joined the Elvis faithful for the start of Graceland’s three-day Holiday Lighting Weekend.
With the switch of the candy cane, the holiday lights at Graceland lit up the night sky in Whitehaven. Disney actress, singer and Memphis native Olivia Holt helped do the honors.
“I mean, so many people came out tonight to experience this together,” Holt told Action News 5. “And it’s just really incredible to see the community that’s built here, that was built by Elvis.”
Singer and songwriter Spencer Sutherland got hooked on Elvis the first time he heard Jailhouse Rock in grade school. Today, he rocks two Elvis tattoos and makes it no secret: he’s obsessed with The King of Rock and Roll.
Sutherland belted out a few of Presley’s most famous tunes on stage with Elvis tribute artist Dean Z during the lighting ceremony.
“From performing in 6th grade in retirement homes in my little Elvis jumpsuit to this, it’s unbelievable,” Sutherland said, “I can’t put it into words. Unbelievable.”
Visiting Graceland is a bucket list item for Canadiens Melanie Cooney and her daughter, Paige.
“Loved Elvis since I was a little girl,” said Cooney. “I remember when he died. Read all the magazines with my grandmother. Loved Priscilla in ‘Elvis and Me.’ And my daughter fell in love with him in the new movie.”
The brisk Bluff City temperatures are not a worry for Ken Doubleday, an Elvis fan from New Hampshire who said the holiday season doesn’t start until the lights at Graceland get turned on each year.
This is his second Holiday Lighting event.
“I actually left cold weather to come to colder weather,” he said with a chuckle, “It was 45 degrees back home. It was 29 degrees this morning here in Memphis.”
Fans young and old gathered together to celebrate the season... Elvis style.
“I was here for Elvis week,” said Cheryl Hennigan from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, “and I was here the first week of October. And I’m here again. And I just keep coming back because every time I see something different. Like the lights!”
“To have this kind of happiness, and to celebrate and to be together and to be thankful and grateful… I mean, it’s such a treat to see all of it come together,” said Holt.
Olivia’s new movie, “Totally Killer,” comes out on Amazon in January. Spencer’s new single, “Out of Love,” drops this weekend.
Graceland will host a Christmas Peace Concert Friday night, and Dean Z’s Rockin’ Christmas Show wraps up the holiday weekend on Saturday night.
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