Parkes Elvis Festival, 2019: Volunteers essential to festival's success | Video, photos, pictures

HERE TO HELP: Parkes Rotary Club secretary Ken Engsmyr is among a host of volunteers at the Parkes Elvis Festival. Photo: NADINE MORTON 011019nmelvis31
HERE TO HELP: Parkes Rotary Club secretary Ken Engsmyr is among a host of volunteers at the Parkes Elvis Festival. Photo: NADINE MORTON 011019nmelvis31

AS the old saying goes, they’ve been everywhere man.

This year’s Parkes Elvis Festival has been given a huge helping hand by a legion of volunteers who have attended almost every one of the 200-plus events.

They have been handing out information, giving directions and also seeing that Elvii, Priscillas and other travellers got off the train safely.

They have also helped some flooded-out campers who were staying at the Parkes Showground.

Parkes Rotary secretary Ken Engsmyr was among the volunteers when two trainloads of Elvis fans arrived on Thursday afternoon and he said it was an absolute pleasure to help festivalgoers.

“We’ve had 20 volunteers here,” he said after the first train arrived.

“Most of them are friends of Rotary or Rotarians.”

During their posting to the train station, the group of 20 volunteers helped 300 passengers off the trains as well as ensured waiting crowds were safely back from the train as it arrived.

Anne, Maggie and Mihran Sarkissian, Zara and Barney Kassabian volunteer their time to help Parkes Rotary Club at the train station. Photo: NADINE MORTON 011019nmelvis30

Anne, Maggie and Mihran Sarkissian, Zara and Barney Kassabian volunteer their time to help Parkes Rotary Club at the train station. Photo: NADINE MORTON 011019nmelvis30

Those “friends” are a mix of high school and university students and some of their friends.

“It may seem a little bit silly to people, but one year people were pushing and shoving and they thought it was the Elvis one [train] coming through,” Mr Engsmyr said.

He said the train passed by the platform “at speed” and since then the volunteers were tasked to the station to help keep everyone safe.

Mr Engsmyr admits he originally was not an Elvis fan, but he has learnt a lot since he started volunteering with the festival five years ago.

“I’ve learnt a lot, it’s been really interesting things and a lot about the man,” he said.