Parkes Elvis Festival

Things to do, Fairs and festivals
The audience watch the main stage of the Parkes Elvis Festival
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

Are you ready to rock and roll, mama?

The King is back and we’re all shook up about the 28th annual Parkes Elvis Festival. 

What began as a modest get-together of 300 Elvis aficionados in 1993 has grown, year on year, to become a massive, officially endorsed event by the estate of Elvis Presley. In 2019, more than 27,000 people gathered to shake, rattle and roll their way through fives days devoted to all things Elvis. At 2020’s fest, returning January 8 – 12, fans of the King will be grinding their hips at over 200 Elvis-themed events, workshops, concerts and family-friendly activities.

Each year’s festival explores an Elvis-centric theme, and this time around it’s the 1966 movie classic Frankie and Johnny. Channelling the Mississippi riverboat casino vibes of the film, you can expect shady card sharks, southern belles and a carnival spirit to descend upon the streets of Parkes.

The jam-packed festival program features an extensive concert series, including performances by country star Adam Harvey and top Australian Elvis tribute acts Mark Anthony and Dean Vegas. There will also be an Elvis gospel service, a street parade, look-alike competitions, rock’n’roll dancing and even a vow renewal ceremony, for couples whose love for each other is as strong as their love for the King. There are also festival markets where you can load up on Elvis merch.

For a truly immersive experience Presley would be proud of, you can make the 365km journey west of Sydney on the Blue Suede Express or Elvis Express trains from Central Station. You can also travel by air onboard the Hound Dog Express flight from Sydney Airport, where travellers will be treated to Elvis-style entertainment in the REX Lounge before take-off.

So, put on your blue suede shoes, bring your hound dog and spend one night or the full five celebrating the OG rock’n’roll grandmaster.

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