There’s just a few days until the annual festival, and Parkes is abuzz with Elvis fever in preparation for the arrival of more than 15,000 festival goers.
Elvis would be turning 79 years of age this Wednesday - the first day of the 2014 NSW TrainLink Parkes Elvis Festival which will see the town's population more than double. Story on page 13.
There will follow five days of hip-swivelling entertainment as Parkes is again transformed into the 'Elvis Capital of Australia'.
Special guest this year is Cynthia Pepper, who starred alongside Elvis in the 1964 hit movie 'Kissin' Cousins' - theme for this year's festival.
Ms Pepper has already arrived in Australia from Canada and will stay in Parkes for the duration of the festival with a number of public appearances providing festival-goers with a unique opportunity to meet and gain insight into what is was like to work with the King himself.
The popular Elvis Central store is now up and running in the main street (see page 3) and local businesses are also preparing for the influx of visitors by decorating their shop windows and transforming the town centre into 'Elvis Boulevard'.
“The Parkes Visitor Information Centre is already fielding calls from visitors with event enquiries, last minute accommodation bookings and general festival information," Katrina Dwyer, Parkes Shire Council's Tourism Manager, said yesterday.
“Most of the town is already booked out, but we do have some last minute motel vacancies.
“Home Hosting, Tent City and unpowered caravan parking are also options for those who may not have secured accommodation for the festival.
“Just contact us at the Parkes Visitor Information Centre on 02 6862 6000 for up to date information," Katrina said.
“The Elvis Express will depart from Central Station in Sydney on Thursday morning, with more than 300 Elvis fans on board, and we hope another big crowd will gather at the railway station to welcome the passengers around 4pm that afternoon.”
Katrina said there are more than 150 events during the festival – much of it free.
“There is so much to see and do, with lots of free events plus a wide range of ticketed events including the Keno Feature Concert Series at the Parkes Leagues featuring Mark Andrew, and the Transtank Miss Priscilla Dinner on Thursday evening.
“I would advise people to start planning their festival activities. The key tool in doing this is the official souvenir program which has details of all the events taking place. You can pick up a copy from the Parkes Visitor Information Centre for just $5.00,” Katrina revealed.
“Registrations are also being invited for the huge array of competitions and events that festival-goers can get involved in including the highly anticipated street parade on Saturday morning, Poet's Breakfast, Renewal of Vows ceremony, rock ‘n’ roll dancing competition, Elvis Tribute Artist competition, and Elvis and Priscilla look-a-like competitions.”
The festival website is www.parkeselvisfestival.com.au where registration forms can be downloaded.