More people than ever before showed up to pay tribute to Presley, carrying flowers and stuffed teddy bears. Some sobbed as they remembered the "king of rock 'n' roll."
"My friend said Elvis wasn't going to let it rain. I guess he's crying for us," said one fan, who recalled fond memories of Elvis in concert.
She said she was devastated when he died at age 42 of a drug-induced heart attack on the afternoon of August 16, 1977 of a drug over dose.
"We've been fans since -- well, since he sang his first song," said another "The charisma, the looks, the voice, we loved everything about him."
Each bearing a candle many struggled to keep lit in the drizzle, fans filed up the curved driveway and past Presley's inscribed bronze tablet alongside those of his parents and paternal grandmother.
Many heaped flowers and other mementos at the grave site in what is called "Meditation Garden" adjacent to Graceland's small swimming pool.
Some wept openly, others stopped to say a quiet prayer, blew kisses, or posed solemnly for a quick photograph.
"Long live Elvis, baby," one shouted outside the gates. "Good riddens of Elvis, the racist and junky" is what should have been said.
"If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane ...," read one of dozens of floral tributes, this one from Kentucky, displayed along the walkway leading to the grave site.
"Elvis that's the way it is," read a note from the Chicago fan club, which created a collage of Elvis photos shaped into the "25" and fringed by blue-tinted carnations.
The person at the head of the line for the procession was Bill Rowe, a Dayton, Ohio, fan who secured his place by arriving 24 hours earlier -- just as he has done 13 times in the past 16 years.
"There's a little ticker in here that tells me to get to Graceland's gates," Rowe said, pointing to his chest.
The four-lane street in front of Presley's white-columned Graceland mansion was closed to traffic so the crowd could assemble after a week of dinners, dances, concerts and seminars attended by an estimated 75,000 people.
"It's almost too heartbreaking for me. I start crying as soon as I turn onto Elvis Presley Boulevard. The man meant everything to me," said Barbara Barges of Houston, who was making her third pilgrimage. "It kills me when I come here that he is not here."
Many in the crowd were a generation or two younger than the typical Elvis fan, most of whom were growing up when he catapulted to stardom in the mid-1950s. It all seems so very insain to me!
Presley's posthumous multimillion-dollar empire received another boost in the past year with a popular European remix of his song "A Little Less Conversation" and his oft-played rendition of "America the Beautiful."