In its 22nd year, the Parkes Elvis Festival has cemented Parkes, Central West NSW, as the Elvis Capital of Australia.
The town comes alive for 5 days in the 2nd week of January every year, to coincide with Elvis’ birthday, this year what would have been his 80th.
Events during the Parkes Elvis Festival are many and varied, ranging from bingo to markets, exhibitions to busking, a motor show to street parade and of course more Elvis tribute performances than any single person can attend.
In fact every night from Wednesday 7th January to Sunday 11th sees every venue in Parkes from school halls to hotels and stages in Parks to local clubs, host concerts of Elvis impersonators and artists from the era.
The population of Parkes will be more than doubled during the Festival but everyone loves the spectacle.
Visitors and locals alike dress for the occasion so that the streets and venues are crowded with Elvis and Priscilla look-a-likes.
Much of the entertainment is free, occurring in the parks and on the streets of town for all to enjoy.
Some activities proceed every day of the festival, like the busking competition which sees Elvis wannabees and other performers bring the pavements of Parkes to life, the Elvis Festival Markets where aficionados can purchase Elvis memorabilia or rock’n’roll gear and The Kings Castle Elvis Museum that holds an incredible collection of genuine Elvis artefacts belonging to or associated with the King himself.
Getting to Parkes and finding accommodation for the Festival is no easy task!
The Elvis Express, a themed train from Sydney to Parkes is extremely popular and sells out quickly.
All the hotels and motels in Parkes are booked out months ahead of the Festival and even the neighbouring towns up to 50 km away find themselves full during the Festival.
One of the greatest challenges for people who leave their planning too late is the issue of Parkes Elvis Festival accommodation as most of the hotels and motels are booked out months in advance.
One chance to travel from Sydney to attend all day Saturday, the climax of the Festival, as well as the very popular Elvis Gospel service on Sunday morning and have accommodation organised, is to join the inaugural Aussie Farmstay and Bush Adventures Parkes Elvis Festival and Aussie Farmstay Tour.
Experience the highlights of rural New South Wales on this tour which includes a Farmstay on an historic family run sheep farm, a Blue Mountains Adventure with visits to Mountains’ attractions and all the fun of the Elvis Parkes Festival.