Central Station a big hunk o' love as fans shuffle it to Parkes Elvis Festival

Parkes-bound Emily Dowswell and Dan Randall at Central Station in Sydney This morning. The Parkes Elvis Festival runs through to Sunday. Photo by Alex Druce.

Parkes-bound Emily Dowswell and Dan Randall at Central Station in Sydney This morning. The Parkes Elvis Festival runs through to Sunday. Photo by Alex Druce.

It’s Dan Randall’s first Elvis Festival, so let’s cut him some slack on failing to turn up to Central Station already wearing a jumpsuit.

“Dunno if I should… ah yeah alright hang on,” the Hunter-based fireman said. 

A quick glance around at fellow Elvis Express passengers told him this was a safe space for true fans.  

He changed on the spot for a photo with his partner Emily Dowswell.

“Mum loved Elvis,” Mr Randall said. “This is our first time going (out to Parkes). We’re going for the full four days too.”

Is it possible to overdose on The King? 

“Dunno mate. We’ll let you know I suppose.”

The pair were among a sea of brilliant and, in many cases, extremely snug costumes at Central today heading east for the annual Parkes Elvis Festival. 

About 25,000 people are expected in the Central West over the next four days for the 26th anniversary of an event that is recognised as one of the world’s biggest tribute gatherings for The King. 

Impersonator Brody Finlay, 21, will be perfroming 12 shows this year. Photo by Alex Druce.

Impersonator Brody Finlay, 21, will be perfroming 12 shows this year. Photo by Alex Druce.

Impersonator Brody Finlay, 21, said he’d been into Elvis since he watched King Creole as a three-year-old. 

“I’ve got about 12 shows over the next few days I think,” he said.

“My favourite song is They Remind Me of You, it’s a bit of an obscure one. When you’re performing you’ve kind of got to understand the crowd – sometimes people want all the big hits, and other times they’re after those lesser known ones.”

More than 150 events will take place at venues in and around Parkes as part of this year’s festival which celebrates the theme ’68 Comeback Special, marking 50 years since Elvis appeared on television in a special unplugged performance that helped re-launch him back into the industry.

Tourism Minister Adam Marshall, sporting a beautiful sequinned jacked and wig combination, said the event is expected to inject up to $14 million into the town’s economy. 

It is the first year two trains have run from Central Station out to Parkes, while REX airlines have also put on extra ‘Hound Dog Express’ flights to the town. 

The Land

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