Home' Open Road Western NSW : OR0317 Contents IT’S 7AM THURSDAY MORNING and platform 1 at Sydney’s
Central Station is abuzz. Bemused office workers weave
through a milling crowd of slicked-back crooners, Vegas
showgirls, press photographers and morning television crews.
Some of the daily commuters pause to take in the fashions of
bejewelled jumpsuits and petticoat skirts, while listening to an
Elvis tribute artist (ETA) belt out songs onstage.
For the uninitiated (me), ETAs don’t like to be called
impersonators, and there are several (collectively known as
Elvii) revving up the crowd waiting to board the NSW Trainlink
Elvis Express. They’re heading to the Parkes Elvis Festival,
which the NRMA sponsors.
The central NSW crop-and-livestock town of Parkes, 365km
northwest of Sydney, is best known for its CSIRO radio
telescope that featured in the movie The Dish. But on the
second weekend of January the population of 12,000 swells to
25,000 with an influx of Elvis Presley fans.
My girlfriend and I, both festival virgins, board the train with
400 fellow passengers for the six-hour journey to Parkes.
Festivalgoers decorate our carriage with balloons and streamers
and soon it’s rock ’n’ rolling in every sense of the word.
Parkes Shire Mayor, Ken Keith (pictured above), resplendent
in a blue studded jumpsuit and Elvis wig, joins the train at
Orange with Miss Priscilla 2016, to welcome us to the festival.
It’s celebrating its 25th year, having evolved from a birthday
party at Bob and Anne Steel’s Graceland Hotel, which saw
guests singing and jiving when they cranked up Elvis’ music.
As the Elvis Express pulls into Parkes, it looks like the whole
town is waiting at the station, giving us a rock star welcome in
the 40-degree heat. With accommodation at a premium we’re
Rock ’n’ roll, rhinestones and jumpsuits – it must be the 25th annual Parkes Elvis Festival
All aboard the Elvis express
Be swept away by the
of New Zealand
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YES - Please send me ........ pairs of BLOK® sunglasses and BONUS magnified reading glasses. I understand that I am
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13/02/2017 11:36 am
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