Cake, choir mark Elvis' 78th birthday in Tupelo

TUPELO – Elvis Presley’s 78th birthday was celebrated by fans from across the world at his birthplace in Tupelo with cake and gospel music.

The big news of the afternoon was announcement of phase 2 of the birthplace’s expansion.

The expansion includes two Elvis statues, a nine-table picnic area with a fireplace and more parking. The two bronze statues will stand on the overlook behind the birthplace and will depict an 11-year-old Elvis and superstar Elvis, complete with his arms raised and his head facing the sky.

At the birthday celebration, fans gathered in the new Elvis Presley Birthplace Theater lobby for cake and a singing of “Happy Birthday.”

Inside the theater, a 15-minute film showcasing the Tupelo Unity Choir was shown, followed by a more than 45-minute performance by the group.

The film, made by Roy Turner and John Wee, was commissioned by the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau to celebrate Tupelo’s choir and Elvis’ love for gospel music.

Follow updates on Tupelo events from Daily Journal’s Adam Ganucheau on Twitter @GanucheauAdam more in Wednesday’s NEMS Daily Journal.

Click video to hear audio