Parkes Elvis Festival
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The Parkes Elvis Festival is an annual event celebrating the music and the legend of Elvis Presley held in early January in the Australian New South Wales regional town of Parkes. The first festival in 1993 was simply a one night performance attracting 300 attendees. From then, it has grown to become a five day long festival of all things Elvis. The Festival now attracts large numbers that briefly double the population of Parkes.
The first Parkes Elvis Festival, held in 1993, was a one night event attracting 200 people. Over the next few years more events were added and the festival was extended to two days with a few hundred people attending.
By January 2005, the attendance had increased to 3,500 people.
In January 2006, there was a 40 per cent increase with 5,000 seeing the festival and it injected an estimated $8 million into the Parkes economy.
The 2007 festival had over 60 events and was held over five days. More than 6,000 visitors were estimated to have attended. A new world record was set for the most Elvis impersonators in one location. SBS Independent commissioned a half-hour documentary on the festival, Elvis Lives in Parkes, which was first aired on Australian television on 10 January 2007.[dead link]
Featuring over 80 events, the 2008 Festival attracted in excess of 8,000 people.
The 2009 Festival became the biggest yet with a huge crowd of 9,500 enjoying the Elvis festivities. The King's Castle - a collection of genuine Elvis memorabilia, was introduced in 2009 adding a new dimension to the Festival. The collection is now open year round.
The Festival attracted record crowds again with 12,000 people enjoying over 140 events across 5 days.
The 2011 Festival attracted 15,000 people. There were over 150 events across the 5 days. The Kings Castle - a collection of genuine Elvis Memorabilia in Parkes moved to a new and improved complex allowing more visitors to see the collection.
- "Countrylink Parkes Elvis Festival". www.parkes.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2009-01-09.[dead link]
- "Parkes all shook up over Elvis festival". www.abc.net.au Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- "Parkes in spin-out over Elvis world record". www.abc.net.au Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- "Elvis impersonators hit Parkes Elvis Festival". Herald Sun (News Corporation). 12 January 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Buchanan, Kallee (11 January 2012). "Kamahl all shook up over Elvis honour". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 11 January 2012.