The Elvii have left the building! A record-breaking 22,000 Elvis Presley™ and Festival fans congregated in Parkes, New South Wales, at the 2016 Parkes Elvis Festival from Wednesday 6 to Sunday 10 January 2016 to celebrate this year’s theme ‘Fun in Acapulco’.
Fans travelled from around Australia and the world to descend on Parkes for five days of non-stop Elvis Presley entertainment and Elvis-themed events.
The Elvis Express train departed Sydney’s Central Station on Thursday 7 January carrying 380 Hound Dogs and Bossa Nova babes to Parkes. Thousands gathered to welcome the train at Parkes Railway Station at 4.30pm, eager to commence five days of ‘King’-sized festivities.
On Thursday night, leading U.S. Elvis tribute artist Donny Edwards kicked off the Festival in style with a huge Opening Night Concert, the first of four ClubsNSW Keno Feature Concerts across the weekend. Edwards was backed by the dynamic eight-piece Elvis In Concert Band.
In a Parkes Elvis Festival first, a preliminary round of the 2016 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest was staged at Parkes Leagues Club. Jack Gatto from Victoria placed first, followed by Moses Kassas from NSW in second place and Brendon Chasefrom New Zealand in third. Gatto will now travel to Memphis, USA, to represent Australia at the Contest Semi -Final during Elvis Week in August.
On Saturday 9 January the highly anticipated Northparkes Mines Street Parade saw over 14,000 people line the streets to enjoy the fiesta of Elvis-themed floats, vintage cars, motorcycles, walking groups and marching bands. Live nonstop entertainment at the Cooke Park Main Stage kept the party going all day and into the night with well-attended free Concerts in The Park on Friday and Saturday nights.
The 2016 Miss Priscilla, Face of the Festival, was awarded to Helen Rowbotham, of Parkes. Helen received the sash from outgoing 2015 Miss Priscilla, Ashleigh Smith, at a gala dinner on Thursday night.
Festival Director Emily Mann said, “Nothing brings the community together like the Parkes Elvis Festival. It’s heartening to see locals and visitors come together to celebrate the legacy of The King of Rock’n’Roll.
“This year’s ‘Fun In Acapulco’ Mexican theme saw everyone get into the party spirit. We are pleased to have delivered a successful and vibrant event for the Central West.”
In 2017 Parkes Elvis Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary with the theme ‘Viva Las Vegas’.