Outback Elvis: Where do thousands of people in wigs, jumpsuits and fake Priscilla eyelashes go each January to swelter in 42-degree heat as they celebrate The King? Parkes, of course, for the annual Parkes Elvis Festival. But how, and why, did this sleepy town get all shook up by Elvis? A new book about Parkes’ famous festival has just been published: Outback Elvis – The story of a festival, its fans and a town called Parkes.
Written by two long-time fans of the festival, the book introduces the local characters, the lookalikes, the impersonators and the tribute artists – and the town that made this big hunk o’ Elvis love possible. Authors John Connell and Chris Gibson have been enthusiastically following and participating in the Parkes Elvis Festival since 2002, and have published a large body of work on music festivals in Australia. Both are geographers: John is a professor of geography at the University of Sydney; Chris is a professor of human geography at the University of Wollongong and a musician. Their co-authored books include Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia (2014), Festival Places (2011), Music and Tourism: On the Road Again (2005) and Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity and Place (2003). If you are keen to read the book or buy it as a Christmas present for someone, there is a special 20% discount offer when preordering from www.newsouthbooks.com.au Use the discount code ELVIS20 at the checkout to receive 20% off.
Parkes Women Are Losing Their Curves: As the many loyal clients will probably already know, Curves Parkes will close its doors for good on Saturday, 17th December. The final Saturday morning Zumba class will commence at 9am, and will be followed by a morning tea at 10am. Past and present clients are invited to come and share a cuppa with Barb, the wonderful staff, and other club members as a farewell to Curves Parkes.
Central West arts projects: The Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund has awarded $57,250 to three Central West organisations for new arts projects in 2017. Arts OutWest secured $24,500 over two years for the Skywriters and the Art of Wiradjuri Constellations component of Big Skies Collaboration on behalf of a consortium
of partners including artists, arts organisations, Wiradjuri leaders and groups, astronomers, universities, the CSIRO
Parkes Observatory and others. Celebrating millennia of astronomies on the inland plains, Big Skies Collaboration
will share stories about people’s relationships with the cosmos, as experienced from Wiradjuri country in central western NSW. The Skywriters and the Art of Wiradjuri Constellations part of the project uses writing and visual arts in partnership with major observatories, universities and local Wiradjuri leaders.
The Parkes Phoenix in Peak Hill: The weekly issue of The Parkes Phoenix is available for free at the Peak Hill Newsagency each week.