Elvis statue.

Touch the Hand of Elvis

Field review by the editors.

Tupelo, Mississippi

Although Elvis Presley was always too polite to say it, leaving his hometown of Tupelo was the best thing that ever happened to him. After he became rich and famous in Memphis and Nashville, he returned to Tupelo in 1956 to perform at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. Elvis was greeted on stage by the governor, and later was photographed reaching out to touch the hands of adorning fans.

In 2012 sculptor Bill Beckwith unveiled a bronze statue of Elvis, posed as he was in the photograph, standing pretty much on exactly the same spot. The statue joins a list of other bronze Elvi in Honolulu, Shreveport, Las Vegas, and Memphis, all of them different. Elvis has more statues that most U.S. Presidents.

The statue was designed to encourage people to touch Elvis's hand, and during our visit we saw tourists instinctively reaching up to do just that. It's like God reaching out to Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, except that the god of Tupelo cradles a microphone and has a pompadour.

Also see: Birthplace of Elvis Presley

Touch the Hand of Elvis

Address:
E. Main St., Tupelo, MS
Directions:
On the south side of E. Main St., on the big lawn in front of city hall. Take the Main St. exit from MLK Drive/US Hwy 45 and drive west (toward town) a half-mile.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Where Elvis Got His First GuitarWhere Elvis Got His First Guitar, Tupelo, MS - < 1 mi.
Neon: First TVA City SignNeon: First TVA City Sign, Tupelo, MS - < 1 mi.
Cheeseburger Booth of ElvisCheeseburger Booth of Elvis, Tupelo, MS - 1 mi.
In the region:
Eerie Glowing Dismalites of Dismals Canyon, Phil Campbell, AL - 53 mi.

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