Tourists let good times rock ‘n’ roll

BURNING LOVE: Darwin residents Elva Wood and Shiralee Black channelled their inner Elvis at Gracelands on the Green at Northparkes Oval. Photo: EMILY BENNETT
BURNING LOVE: Darwin residents Elva Wood and Shiralee Black channelled their inner Elvis at Gracelands on the Green at Northparkes Oval. Photo: EMILY BENNETT

THEY have come from different places but a group of travellers have found come together and bonded over their a mutual love of the king.

Northparkes Oval has transformed into Gracelands on the Green to provide additional accommodation for visitors of the Parkes Elvis Festival.

More than 125 tents will shelter Elvis fans from across Australia, with regular shuttle bus services to the festival.

Mother and daughter Shiralee Black and Elva Wood are die-hard Elvis Presley fans who travelled from Darwin for the festival.

“From the day I was born I listened to Elvis,” Ms Black said. “My favourite Elvis song is Teddy Bear.”

”I love all of his love songs,” Ms Wood added.

Ms Black said the festival was a good opportunity to catch up with family and meet new people. “We come from Darwin and my sister is coming from Canberra. We make this our meeting place,” she said. “We’ll be meeting all of the different travellers here.”

Bush poet Mark Thompson travelled from Stockman to perform at the festival.

Mr Thompson said he hoped to bring something different to the festival line-up.

“There will be some unexpected bush poetry going on,” he said.

“It’s another place where bush poetry can fit. We need to remember we’re Australian and we have a lot of good stuff too.”

Anne Armstrong, who also travelled from Stockman, said she loved the atmosphere of the oval.

“The atmosphere should be fun,” she said. “I do like his music and I love the big parade at the festival.”

Tent City Hire labourer Mitchell Bullock said Gracelands on the Green had grown.

“It’s grown. There were 60 to 80 tents last year,” he said.

“It took about a week and a half to set up.”

Mr Bullock said there was a sense of community at Gracelands on the Green.

“The tents have been set up for the out of town visitors. We’ve had people from Sydney, Wollongong, places like that,” he said.

“This is our second time here. The people are really nice and they meet up with each other once a year.”

More than 25000 people are expected to visit Parkes for the festival.