A Procession At Graceland

Fans visit the flower-covered grave of Elvis Presley on the grounds of Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., on the 30th anniversary of Presley's death Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
Fans marked the 30th anniversary of the death of The King of rock 'n' roll with a graveside procession on Thursday in Memphis.

Thousands of Elvis Presley fans have flocked to Memphis, Tennessee, all week to visit the singer's Graceland mansion.

Despite a brutal heat wave, Elvis admirers began gathering on Graceland's driveway early in the morning on Wednesday. The graveside procession continued all night and into Thursday, filing past Presley's grave in a small garden beside his former home.


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Jolene Zepp, an Elvis fan from Grand Rapids, Michigan, waited a total of six hours to pay her respects. "But it was awesome. It was well worth it," she said.

The vigil is the most popular and solemn anniversary event in a week-long string of concerts, dances, movie screenings and other festivities put on by Graceland.

Daniel Boone, an Elvis fan from Toronto, Canada, said it was his fifth time to visit the mansion. "Every time is the same. It brought tears to my eyes every time. Once I get up there, I just -- I'm getting choked up talking about it," he said.

The legendary entertainer died at the age of 42 on Aug. 16, from heart disease worsened by prescription drug abuse.

City officials estimate 75,000 fans are in Memphis this week to pay tribute, some coming from as far away as Asia, Australia and South America.