Rock and Roll Party at Parkes’ Elvis Festival

in Australia

It’s a long way from Graceland, but during the second week of January the small Australian town of Parkes honors the King of Rock and Roll at the Elvis Festival.

You’ll find Parkes in the heart of New South Wales, 365 kilometers from the state’s capital city, Sydney.

Around 11, 000 people live there, but during the five-day Elvis Festival the town literally doubles in size.

Highlights of the event include the Elvis Gospel Church Service, the crowning of Miss Priscilla, the Elvis Street Parade, and of course the performances of hundreds of Elvis impersonators. Couples renew their wedding vows in a public ceremony presided over by the King himself, and aspiring singers cover classic rock and roll tunes in the Elvis Idol competition.

Given the festival’s popularity, it’s unsurprising that Parkes’ hotels, motels, and caravan parks quickly reach their capacity. It’s advisable to book your accommodation early to avoid missing out. Alternatively you might like to stay in one of the neighboring towns, rough it in Tent City, or bunker down with a local. Houses in the Festival Home Hosting program are all inspected for cleanliness and privacy, and participating is a great way to make new friends.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

The best way to get to the festival is to take the CountryLink Elvis Express from Sydney. This is no ordinary train. Elvis impersonators entertain the passengers as they make their way to the festival. A ticket on the train also includes a shuttle bus pass, which allows you to get around Parkes during your stay. If you’d prefer a quicker trip, catch the Rex Airlines’ Priscilla Plane.

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