The rural town of Parkes in Central NSW are holding their 14th
annual Elvis Festival this coming weekend to celebrate the
Elvis is alive and well in Parkes NSW.
In the early 1990s, Bob and Anne Steel grew tired of the lull that Parkes experienced every summer.
Realising that "The King's" birthday falls in January, they dreamed up the Elvis festival... to the great displeasure of several locals, the first festival was held on Jan 8th 1993.
The Steel's built a large restaurant as the main venue for the Festival, they gave it the unlikely name of Graceland!!
The inaugural winner of the best Elvis was a local, Steve Lennox, Steve found he was constantly greeted as Elvis so decided to change his name to Elvis Lennox, he competes still.
Parkes is a town with a population of 15,000 and they have held their Elvis Festival each year since then with ever increasing popularity and crowds, it now takes up a three day weekend with crowds of over 5,000 attending the varied functions.
There are many competitions during the Festival these include;
Best Elvis impersonation.
Best costumed (for the vocally challenged.)
Best Priscilla, for the ladies.
Best Little Elvis and Lisa Marie for the kids.
There is the
On January 8th 2007 Elvis would have been 72, one imagines that may
have restricted the hip swiveling a bit had he lived on in real life as he has
in so many hearts around the world.
It would indeed be wonderful to hear again that famous;
"Thank You,,, Thank You Very Much" after a performance.
Parkes has another claim to fame as well, It is the home of the
CSIRO Radio Telescope.
Weighing in at something over 1000 tons and measuring 64m
(70 yards) across, this is an impressive structure.
The Telescope and its uses
Astronomers use the Parkes CSIRO Radio telescope to measure the radio energy produced naturally by objects in the universe such as stars, galaxies and clouds of dust and gas. Occasionally the Parkes telescope will assist space exploration missions by acting as a receiving station to receive radio transmissions from space craft but our main job remains astronomy.