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Fans Visit Graceland for Elvis’ 33rd Death Anniversary

Elvis Presley’s fans from across the country and around the world gathered in Graceland for a vigil marking the 33rd anniversary of the American icon's death. People were seen carrying candles as they walked silently by his grave during a Sunday night vigil at Graceland.

Thousands of fans attended the annual candlelight vigil and procession, which runs into the morning hours every year. Presley died at age 42 at his Graceland mansion on August 16, 1977, and his memorials started the following year.

Famous Elvis songs including "If I Can Dream" and "Fools Rush In" played as the people solemnly filed in through the gates. Flowers and photos lined the entrance to the grave site, which also is the resting place of Presley's father Vernon, and his mother Gladys. Most of the fans wiped tears as they walked past the graves.

For Thomas Hill, 52, it was the first Elvis vigil without his wife and Sunday was the couple's 13th wedding anniversary, which made him cry.

"This vigil is kind of like for Elvis, and kind of like for her, too," said Hollis, of Louisville, Ky. "It's rough this year ... I've been through down times myself for a while, but I listen to his music and it keeps me going."

The night is the highlight of a weeklong series of fan-club meetings, film showings and Elvis tribute artist contests at the 13-acre Graceland property which Elvis bought in 1957 for around $100,000.

The week's festivities included conversations with writers, photographers and close friends of Elvis.


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