The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, definitely lives on. His death may have been confirmed in 1977, but the Legend will never die. One of the premier events prolonging the King is the Parkes Elvis Festival, staged every year in Parkes, Central West New South Wales.
Having started in 1993 with a single night of entertainment, the 2014 Elvis Festival will be the 22nd Festival which has cemented Parkes as the Elvis Capital of Australia. The Festival has grown to include 5 days of Elvis themed events and attracts Elvis devotees from across Australia and around the world.
Parkes, situated in central NSW about 350km west of Sydney, boasts a first class Elvis Museum, the King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit, open all year round and home to many genuine Elvis artefacts. The unique collection hosts memorabilia belonging to retired Wiggle Greg Page, which were once owned by Elvis himself or intimately connected to his life or performances.
But it is in the second week of January that Parkes really brings The King to the fore. Timed to coincide with Elvis’ birthday, the Festival features entertainment for the whole family, from early in the morning to late at night. Spanning Wednesday to Sunday,the festival has grown to be the highlight of the Parkes calendar, involving the entire town in Elvis themed activities.
Highlights of the festival include the busking competition which runs over the entire 5 days and culminates with the Grand final on Sunday afternoon. Elvis impersonators, look-alikes and wannabes perform along the length of Parkes’ main thoroughfare, Clarinda St, vying to be judged the best. This free entertainment enlivens the town and showcases entertainers who, in the past, have gone on to become professionals.
On stages in public parks, hotels and clubs around Parkes there are dozens of performances by talented artists all revelling in the music of Elvis and his era. From the daily Cooke Park main stage free entertainment to the official Ultimate Elvis concerts at the Parkes League Club on Saturday night and dozens of satellite events in almost every pub and venue in town, you might think that every Elvis impersonator alive was in Parkes!
There is a spectacular Street Parade, markets, Elvis themed bingo, an Elvis Gospel church service, a chance for married couples to renew their vows at an Elvis ceremony, cake decorating, a poets breakfast, Priscilla themed dinner, exhibitions of art and photos, and in fact almost 150 scheduled events alongside the opportunity to get dressed up in your Elvis or Priscilla outfit or appreciate the efforts of the thousands of others who don their Elvis era gear.
One of the favourite ways to get to Parkes is the Elvis Express Train which departs from Sydney on Thursday and returns on Monday. Carrying 400 Festival goers, tribute artists and dignitaries it provides entertainment all the way from Sydney to Parkes, and back again. With an expected 18,000 attendees, the 2014 Parkes Elvis Festival will see the Elvis Express quickly book out, as will every place of accommodation in Parkes and the nearby towns.
Another fun way to travel to Parkes for the Elvis Festival, and not have to worry about accommodation or driving, is to combine the festival with an Aussie Bush Adventure. Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures is presenting its first Parkes Elvis Festival and an Aussie Farmstay. Enjoy a full day in Parkes on Saturday of the Festival, combined with the experience of a farmstay and bush adventure tour.
Parkes Elvis Festival and Aussie Farmstay
Experience the Parkes Elvis Festival and explore the Australian Bush.Parkes is famous for two things.The Dish and the Elvis Festival.
Come on an Aussie Bush Adventure AND experience the Parkes Elvis Festival This special, once in a year, three day tour will combine a Two Day Farmstay and Blue Mountains tour with a full day at the Elvis Festival.Experience Outback travel on a 3 day eco tour adventure into the heart of the Australian bush. You’ll meet genuine Australian bush characters, experience authentic Australian country lifestyle, taste traditional Aussie bush tucker (food!) and try your hand at some truly Australian bush crafts as well as immerse yourself in everything Elvis for a full day, at the Parkes Elvis Festival..All Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures tours are small groups, with a maximum of 11 passengers, so you’ll be assured of personalised attention. Features of the Parkes Elvis Festival and Aussie Farmstay Tour:A three day, personalised guided, city escape and adventureTwo night’s accommodation at a farmstay camp, in cabins, caravans or tentsMeet the locals on the farmPat a Koala, feed a Kangaroo, see and learn about Australian native animalsWalk in the World Heritage Blue Mountains National ParkSee Australia’s rugged and beautiful mountains and wide and sweeping plains filled with unique flora and faunaTaste local wines or beer in OrangeWatch genuine Australian farming life, with horsemanship, sheep mustering and shearing and dog handlingSit around a campfire to hear Australian stories and songsEat Australian tucker like fresh damper, billy tea, Bar-B-Qued lamb chops and kangaroo meatTake a tour of the magnificent Southern night sky and learn Aboriginal legends of the starsOne full day in Parkes to experience the Elvis FestivalA ticket to the official Parkes Leagues Club Elvis dinner and concertVisit to Parkes for the Elvis Gospel serviceTravel on the world’s steepest railway, the ultra modern scenic cableway and breathtaking Scenic SkywayExplore the natural beauty and historic artefacts in the picturesque Jamison ValleyView the Three Sisters and other magnificent rock and bush sights of the Blue MountainsExperience the world’s oldest living culture, with Aboriginal music dance and culturePersonal small group tour (maximum 11 passengers)Friendly and knowledgeable local guide and hostsTravel in mini coach with luggage and kitchen trailerPrice Includes:All transportPick ups from Central Sydney location (including limited Central Sydney accommodations by prearrangement)All accommodation (Three star twin share with partner of choice or same gender passenger)All activities All meals and snacks (except lunch in Parkes on day two)Hot showers and full bathroom access on both nightsDepartures:8am Friday 9th January 2015Central Sydney departuresWhat to Bring:Comfortable clothes and shoes for travelling, walking and exploringAn Elvis or Priscillla outfit if you want to dress for the Parkes festivalA hat and sunscreenWet weather protectionOne <20kg bag for transport in trailer and one small hand luggage for bus. A sense of adventure and an anticipation to learn and experience new things!
* – All prices are in Australian Dollars and include GST
† – Child prices subject to conditions – 1 child with 1 adult, 2 or more children with 2 adults.