Outback Elvis: Riding with the King in Parkes, Australia

Aboard the CountryLink Elvis Express, Australia's Channel Nine News interviews Ross Mancini, an Elvis tribute artist from Sydney.

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Outback Elvis: Riding with the King in Parkes, Australia

by Gretchen Wood
Southern Cultures, Vol. 19, No. 1: Global Music

"Shops featured Elvis window displays; couples renewed their marriage vows before an Elvis wedding celebrant; and even the statue of Sir Henry Parkes, the town's namesake, sported Elvis's seventies-era sunglasses."

For the past twenty years, Australian fans have gathered in Parkes, New South Wales, to celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday. Since the initial gathering of two hundred, hosted by Bob and Anne Steel at their Gracelands banquet hall, the CountryLink Parkes Elvis Festival has turned into a community-wide effort, and attendance has mushroomed to 18,000, nearly double the town’s population.