Elvis impersonators leave Central Station for Parkes for the annual festival

Sydney Central Station was a sea of ​​Hawaiian shirts, jeweled jumpsuits and grass skirts on Thursday morning as hundreds of Elvis Presley impersonators and fans waited to board the 8.33am train bound for Parkes.

The average commuter might mistakenly think they’re in a ’50s-style dream, with a different Elvis in every direction, as the rock ‘n’ roll king’s enthusiasts tune in to the annual Parkes Elvis Festival.

Ken Keith, Mayor of Parkes Shire Council, is celebrating the festival's 30th anniversary.

Ken Keith, Mayor of Parkes Shire Council, is celebrating the festival’s 30th anniversary.Credit:Oscar Colman

The internationally renowned festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary and after a turbulent few years of flooding and the pandemic, Parkes Shire Council Mayor Ken Keith said it was a celebration for his community.

“It’s a huge event for Parkes, 25,000 people are coming into town and it’s bringing about $15 million into the regional economy and after the flooding that we’ve had in the central west, it’s really important that we get people involved.” make it come out and come back in,” Keith said.

With festival events like line dancing for beginners and rock-a-hula dragon boat rides scattered throughout the city, there’s never a dull moment. The festival runs from January 4th to 8th and coincides with the birthday of the King, who would be 88 today.

“Morale is really important. People have had water in their houses and they’re under a lot of mental stress right now… so the lift that Elvis is going to bring to them is so important,” Keith said.

Friends Gail Goulding and Deborah Petreski have visited the festival several times.

Friends Gail Goulding and Deborah Petreski have visited the festival several times. Credit:Oscar Colman

Best friends Gail Goulding and Deborah Petreski looked like they’d stepped off the set Blue HawaiiElvis’ 1961 musical, which is also the theme of this year’s event.

“I was just watching TV one day and seeing how much fun the Elvis train and festival was and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve been coming for 12 years and it’s the best fun you’ll ever have in five days,” Goulding said.

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/parkes-aloha-elvis-has-left-the-station-in-all-his-glorious-guises-20230104-p5ca8t.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Elvis impersonators leave Central Station for Parkes for the annual festival

Jaclyn Diaz

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