THE ELVIS PARKES FESTIVAL
25 years old in 2017, the festival just gets bigger and better! The Parkes Elvis festival has cemented its place as a premier event on the national calendar.
But the question that everyone asks is why is the Elvis festival in Parkes, in the first place?
In 1981 local Elvis fans, Bob and Ann Steel opened a reception centre and restaurant in Parkes which they named Gracelands.
The festival concept was first flagged at a 1992 Elvis party and this proved the massive appeal of the King across generations and it was over a glass of wine at a party that the idea of the Elvis festival first gained traction.
Passionate locals from across the community joined forces to put on the first Festival in 1993 which included an Elvis movie screening, a tribute concert by Eddie Youngblood, an Elvis lookalike and soundalike competition, street parade, Markets, and a tour of the Parkes region, and was attended by about 200 people!
Over the first ten years of the festival, more events were added and it continued to attract fans.
With continuing vision and the help and support of Parkes Council, in 2003/ 04 the Festival finally took off, and word quickly spread across Australia about this fun and quirky event in a country town in central NSW.
The event has gone from success to success with the incredible support of the Council and the people of Parkes, and now attracts over 20,000 people every year in January
Check it out at: www.parkesfestival.com.au
Not just the dish .. that stares out into the wide universe.
I recently spent great week in a tiny, little place called Baldry, 48 km outside Parkes. No phone, no internet, unless you stood on top of the dunny and hung the phone almost out the window! I kid you not - 2019 and Telstra or anybody else can't or won't service some of our vital industries. User pay all the way. The govt (all of them) should give themselves an upper cut..
But I digress ( as usual).
Went into Parkes and had a good look round. That city will really hit it's straps in about 3 years.
The success story is that Parkes is becoming the main hub for Australia's freight movement.
It is the crossroads of the Sydney to Perth rail line and the new Inland Rail line that is going inland and will be the main line from Brisbane to Melbourne. At the moment, the longest freight trains are single stacked 1,500 m trains. In 8 to 10 years this line will be carrying 3,600 m trains double stacked from Brisbane to Melbourne in under 24 hrs and Sydney to Perth on under 48 hrs.
This is huge, particularly when you realise that the current coastal rail line will stop carrying cargo and will only carry passengers and that most of the large B Double truck traffic will disappear from the highways.
This is one of the most exciting infrastructure projects of this century. Even more so when you see the sheer size of the rail container yards that are being built there and already Linfox, SCT. Pacific National Rail and others yet to be announced are spending millions on freight terminals. They reckon 2,000 + families will relocate there. Bloody exciting, I reckon.
Now if we could just turn our minds to capturing all of that rain that falls into the ocean, we would be on the right track.
But the best bit of the whole trip was when our wonderful host, Hodgie took us for a Chinese meal at the Cumnock Sports Club. Great night, meeting some wonderful people and a great meal. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie .... you get my drift.