BY SHEENA BARNETT
TUPELO – The Tupelo Elvis Birthplace is saying “thank you” to fans with music, stories, food and more.
This year’s Fan Appreciation Day, set for Saturday at the birthplace, kicks off Memphis’ Elvis Week, which remembers the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll the week of his death. This year’s Fan Appreciation Day is the first to take place entirely on birthplace grounds, said birthplace Executive Director Dick Guyton.
“This is to show appreciation for the fans, for what they’ve done for us all through the years,” Guyton said. “Since we have the new events center, we can have everything in our new theater.”
Saturday’s events begin with the arrival of international fans at 9:30 a.m., followed by a ceremony in the amphitheater.
Lunch will be served in the events center, followed by storytellers in the chapel at noon.
“They’ll take turns remembering playing with Elvis as a kid,” Guyton said. “For a lot of international fans, meeting people who knew Elvis is extremely important to them.”
The Unity Choir, The Landmarks and other entertainers will perform in the events center Saturday afternoon.
Ben Portsmouth, who won the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist competition last year, will perform that night at the amphitheater, the first concert to take place there since it’s opened.
“I have never been to Tupelo before,” Portsmouth said, “but I am so interested in seeing the humble beginnings of where Elvis came from.”
Tickets to his concert are $35 and include admittance to all of the birthplace attractions.
All of the attractions at the birthplace can be toured for $10 that day.
For a complete schedule, visit elvsipresleybirthplace.com.