Allie Martin

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Video: Tupelo Pulls Out All Stops For Elvis’ 78th Birthday

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – The daylong birthday celebration for Tupelo’s most famous resident began with a sock hop at ParkWay Elementary where kindergarteners have been learning all about the original American idol.

“He was born in Tupelo and he went to school in Tupelo,” said Kindergartener Autumn Simmons.

At NMMC’s Women’s Hospital, babies born on this special day will take home an Elvis beanie baby.

“It’s not very many people can say they were born on Elvis’ birthday,” said Brittany Rhynes, whose daughter, Lilliana, ¬†shares Elvis’ birthday.

It was a multicultural crowd at the singer’s birthplace.

“I’m originally from Pakistan,” said Siam Kashmiri.

“I live in the northern part of Russia , near the Arctic Circle,” said Lilly Zankova.

“I’m from Wales,” said Liz Price.

The crowd sang “Happy Birthday” and had cake and refreshments.

The new theater was full for the premiere of a video promoting Tupelo’s Unity Choir and the gospel roots of Elvis’ music.

In the evening the latest tourist attraction, ¬†the Fairpark statue commemorating the singer’s 1956 homecoming concert , was lit up.

“What this will do is add a nocturnal photo op, along with our daytime photo ops we have here and at the birthplace, different Elvis markers around town,” said Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed, Jr.

After the ceremony lighting the statue everything moved across the street to Park Heights Restaurant, that’s where the line up for th 2013 Elvis Fest announced and the poster for the festival, unveiled. Organizers say this year’s festival will be the biggest yet.