Hundreds of Elvis Presley impersonators hopped aboard the Elvis Express at Central Station in Sydney to head to the (usually quiet) town of Parkes on Thursday.
The #ElvisExpress has left the building see you in #Parkes #ParkesElvis pic.twitter.com/5vKAzPT7jS
— ParkesElvisFestival (@ParkesElvisFest) January 7, 2015
The Elvis fans, who prefer to be called Elvis tribute acts, adorned aloha suits, black karate two-pieces, nail suits and white pearl suits while the women mostly wore 1950s dresses.
Festival goer, John Collins, has $50,000 worth of jumpsuits in his repertoire. Wearing a black owl jumpsuit, he told 702 ABC Sydney: “Once you get a taste of it, you’ve just got to keep going back.” And he has been doing just that, for 23 years.
“Everyone’s all dressed up, everyone’s ready to party and they all dance in all the carriages,” he said. The trip takes approximately 6 hours as Parkes is 350km west of Sydney.
#ElvisPresley lives at #Sydney’s Central Station, en route to Parkes (via @John__Donegan) pic.twitter.com/wpbegxoNk7 — 702 ABC Sydney (@702sydney) January 7, 2015
The festival in Parkes is themed around the 1964 movie Roustabout. The event started at a favourite local eatery in Parkes, called Gracelands restaurant.
A few years later, a lot of people were coming from the Central West, said Parkes Champion Post editor, Roel ten Cate. “We have people from all over the world that come to Parkes just for this festival,” he said of the festival. More than 18,000 fans were expected to attend.
#elvisexpress has landed ! #parkeselvis #parkes #Elvis2015 pic.twitter.com/TumzjLJYsN
— ParkesElvisFestival (@ParkesElvisFest) January 8, 2015
Asked if the King would have enjoyed the fuss, Mr ten Cate said: “If he’s looking down now, I think he’d be saying he’s pretty proud of our little effort.”