It’s the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
In 1993, a bunch of residents from the town of Parkes, NSW, threw an Elvis Presley-themed birthday for a local newspaper editor. It was so much fun that they decided to do it again – and again.
Today, the Parkes Elvis Festival has turned into a five-day celebration held annually every second week of January to coincide with the birthday of the King of Rock and Roll.
The next edition will be held from Wednesday, 9 January – Sunday, 13 January 2019, with over 26,000 visitors expected to attend (more than double the town’s population). It will feature more than 150 unique Elvis-inspired programs such as a concert, a street parade, a renewal of vows ceremony, and even an Elvis gospel service.
There will also be outdoor markets, photo competitions, car shows, rock’n‘roll dancing, busking, ukulele workshops, and of course, a look-a-like contest.
The theme for 2019 will be All Shook Up, a reference to Presley’s 1957 hit which topped several American charts and went certified double-platinum.
“The festival is back for another year of fun as we celebrate Elvis’ iconic single, All Shook Up, and all things ‘50s,” said organiser Cathy Treasure. “All the festival favourites are back, along with some great new highlights, family focused activities, special performances from world-renowned Elvis tribute artists and more!”
While we’re all waiting to don our pompadour wigs and blue suede shoes for the 2019 Parkes Elvis Festival, here are some incredible photos taken from last January’s festivities: