From next Wednesday Parkes will be all gold and glitter for the silver jubilee of the Elvis Festival. Businesses were hard at work this week to stake their gold claim for the biggest influx of visitors to town with more than 25,000 people expected to attend the Viva Las Vegas-themed festival boosting the local economy by as much as $15 million.
“We are just about ready,” said Kirsty Berry of Colouby Creations on Tuesday. “We have been selling costumes, wigs, glasses, handbags and anything else with Elvis’ face on it for the past six years. We are usually flat out for about ten days, but it is brilliant.”
Rosemary Mitchell, President of the Craft Corner, said they were much better prepared this year. “As we are so centrally located we get thousands of people looking for Elvis items. This year we will have plenty of stock including Elvis cushions, bracelets, watches and skirts to name a few.” She said all items were handmade by Craft Corner members. Owner of The Red Chandelier, Janine Simpson said: “I can’t wait for Elvis. It is so exciting and there is such a buzz and good mood in town during the festival that it makes us all feel alive. I had people dancing in my shop last year!” Janine, who experienced the festival for the first time last year as a business owner said it was excellent. She was looking forward to another good period of business.
By Maggi Barnard