Every January, the Parkes Elvis Festival celebrates “The King” in style, with over 150 events held over 5 days. Visitors can even take the “Elvis Express” train from Sydney, Australia direct to the festival so the fun begins even before arrival.
Thousands of local rockers and dancers meet fans at the gates of the festival inviting them to enjoy non-stop Elvis themed events and entertainment from Wednesday to Sunday.
Endorsed by the estate of Elvis Presley, bejewelled costumes are encouraged, while more than 20 Elvis tribute acts compete to represent the Parkes Festival in Memphis and a “Miss Priscilla” beauty pageant occurs. As well as celebrities, 10,000 people line the streets of the small town to see over 170 Elvis floats, vintage cars, marching bands and motorcycle groups during the “Northparkes Mines Street Parade”. All venues are within walking distance of each other, providing lots of mingling time for fans.
There are look-a-like contests, sound-a-like contests, memorabilia displays and “cars of the era” show. The Elvis Gospel Music Show enables you to renew your vows and an expert panel talk about the big man himself. The vibe in the campgrounds called “Gracelands on the Green” is jovial as locals gather to sing Elvis songs together impromptu and mix in keenly with visitors.
‘Shake, rattle and roll into Australia’s “Graceland” for great entertainment, colourful costumes and country hospitality.’
Parkes is a regional town in Central N.S.W, situated on the Newell Highway, and is a thriving commercial centre offering quality accommodation, unique attractions and events.
During the festival all venues are within walking distance of each other, making the event easily accessible to all during the 5 day event. There is a regular train service to and from Sydney from Parkes. There are also festival bus shuttle services available.
Even though Parkes is usually a small town, there are plenty of accommodation options on offer as the town swells in numbers for the festival.
Comfortable tent accommodation is available at Northparkes Oval called “Gracelands on the Green”, with ready made tents available that include solid floors, beds and mattresses. You will need to bring bed linen for these. Towels and showers are provided on site at the festival.
There are also unpowered camp sites available to book at Pioneer Oval and McGlynn Campground with clean toilets and hot showers,
There are also a variety of caravan and holiday parks in the surrounds as well as the Parkes Hotel and Astro Dish Motor Inn.
Over the 5 days at the festival there are many local attractions that might also take your fancy. Parkes is famous for its role in the movie “The Dish”, and you can visit the Parkes Radio Telescope and information centre, which is open daily.
You can also visit The Henry Parkes Museum depicts early life in Parkes through objects, photos and historical information. Items on display include traditional family items, furniture, clothing and collectables along with historic buildings such as a schoolhouse, churches, blacksmiths shop and 45 tractors.
The “Kings Castle Elvis Exhibit” collected by Greg Page includes jewellery, movie, stage and personal clothing, books, documents and furniture owned by Elvis or directly connected to his life. Another Elvis collector and local, Elvis Lennox also displays his Elvis memorabilia he has collected since he was 16 years old.
There is also an Acquatic Centre with olympic sized swimming pool, golf course, tennis courts, squash courts and two bowling clubs in Parkes.
The dates for the 27th annual Parkes Elvis Festival are January 9-13 2019.
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