The raison d’être for the Parkes Elvis Festival was celebrated on Tuesday in Cooke Park next to the Elvis statue with about 500 visitors and residents attending. The Parkes Boppers dance troupe and Parkes’ one and only Elvis tribute artist, Barry Green, set the tone for a festive 84th birthday celebration for the King.
Keith Clarke from Tarcutta, who shares a birthday with Elvis, had the honour of cutting the cake after his name was drawn from three more visitors sharing the same birthday. “This celebration is a nice lead in to the festival, and it is very important to recognise Elvis’s birthday,” said Lorraine Job, Secretary of Elvis Revival Inc, the Parkes Elvis
Festival founding committee.
Elvis Revival Inc and a small group of volunteers organise the annual event, which was the spark for the very first festival 27 years ago.
“It was really special to see so many people attending,” said Barry Green, who entertained the crowd with evergreen Elvis songs like ‘Return to Sender’.
Lorraine said it was also a perfect time to promote other festival events, as well as junior local talent. Free entertainment will continue in Cooke Park, known as the heart of the Parkes Elvis Festival where more than 50 top-quality entertainers will perform non-stop on the ARTC Cooke Park main stage over the next four days.
Hosted by radio personality, Dave Sutherland, the main stage will see many talented performers backed by the dynamic Fourcasters.
By Maggi Barnard