A group of friends from across Australia have been getting all shook up at the Parkes Elvis Festival for a total of nine years.
Canberra’s Kim Raysmith, with her friends Fiona, Carrie and Christine from Melbourne head to central west, NSW every January for a full weekend of fun.
Although Ms Raysmith has been a fan of The King since she was 22-years-old, she first heard about the Parkes Festival after attending a tribute Elvis cruise with friends from work.
“They had previously attended the Parkes Elvis Festival for five years and told me what fantastic time they always had at Parkes and that I should come...,” she said.
“That was years years ago. This is the now the signature event on my calendar year.”
Each year the Parkes Elvis Festival has a theme, which related to The King’s songs or movies.
Being a creative person Ms Raymsith spends her spare time throughout the year preparing costumes for the event.
“The 25th anniversary of Parkes Elvis Festival in 2017 was a highlight, the theme was Viva Las Vegas, I made us all head dresses that we wore with our Elvis jump suits and stole the show,” she said.
Since coming to Parkes, the Kim and her friends have met many people from all walks of life and have built solid relationships with them.
“Over the past four years we have met a group of ladies in Spicers Caravan Park that we would go out with to show when we were there, they joined our group this year and I had t-shirts made for them as well,” she said.
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“Three are from Tasmania and one from northern NSW. This was the highlight of their year and they had a blast being a part of the All Chook Up team.”
Ms Raysmith said they love the people of Parks and the people who attend the festival.
“Every place we go to we have great conversations and meet interesting friendly people. I run into two local farmers from Parkes every year Margaret and Peter, we take photos and have a good catch up,” she said.
“The atmosphere is invigorating and that is due to people being friendly, warm and hospitable.
Ms Raysmith said each year the festival gets bigger and there was never a dull moment.
Over the past two years she has even entered the Festival’s poetry competitions.
Ms Raysmith said Parkes has given her the freedom to express her creativity and not just in costume making.
Her advice for those thinking of attending is was to book accommodation early, or hire an air-conditioned campervan as there was plenty of camping sites available.
Buy a costume on line or get one when you get here, Colouby’s of Parkes sells a great array of Elvis outfits and costumes in line with the theme of each year,” Ms Raysmith said.
“Dressing up is a great way to meet people and an ice breaker in conversations. If you don’t know many people, come to Parkes as it is a great way to meet lots of people and make new friends.”