It wasn’t a whole heap of Elvii strutting and hip-swivelling on stage that caught the audience’s attention during the Elvis look-a-like competition at the Parkes Elvis Festival this year.
Instead it was a couple, originally from Iran and now from Sydney, who stole the show with a marriage proposal on the main stage in Cooke Park that Saturday afternoon.
Elvis impersonator Hamid Rashidifar took part in the look-a-like competition after participating in the Northparkes Mines Parkes Elvis Festival street parade with his girlfriend Minoo Tofighi that morning.
After he was announced runner-up in the competition, Hamid was interviewed on stage where he began to talk about his and Minoo’s relationship.
Minoo was invited on stage and what happened next she said was “absolutely amazing”.
“He got down on one knee,” Minoo said.
“I was really surprised...I didn’t have any idea.
“I was wondering why they were calling me on stage.”
But it was the plan all along.
Hamid said he’d been planning the proposal for seven months and always intended to do it at the Parkes Elvis Festival.
“There are lots of people and I thought why not?” He said.
“A lot of people get married in an Elvis chapel and here I’m in it!
“This is me and it’s a good memory, it’s unforgettable.”
Minoo said she had always loved Elvis as a child and when she first met Hamid she had no idea he was an Elvis impersonator.
“When I found out what he was, I thought my dream has come true,” she laughed.
Hamid would be forgiven if he looked a little nervous while he walked down Festival Boulevard with Minoo during the parade.
After all, his focus wasn’t on the thousands of people who lined Clarinda Street to watch the action. It was on where he was going to hide the ring box in his Elvis jumpsuit.
“I put it in my sock,” Hamid laughed.
“All I was worried about was the ring falling out.”
This year was Hamid’s third Elvis Festival, first rocking and rolling his way here in 2004. This was Minoo’s second festival.
“We’re both a big fan of Elvis,” Minoo said.
“This festival is awesome, we love it. We’re really lucky living in Sydney because we’re not too far away, we can’t miss it!”