When I think of Parks, I think of the big Dish that helped the Apollo 11 mission. I absolutely love anything to do with space so of course I had to put Parks on my bucket list and went a few years ago.
However, today Parks is more well known for its "Elvis Presley Festival" . The town was in great need of tourist dollars so someone come up with the Elvis Presley festival idea......
So, my curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out more. According to the Aussie Towns website, in 1981 there were two Elvis fans in town called Bob and Anne Steel who opened a restaurant and reception centre on the corner of Bushman and Albert Streets to honour 'The King' and the restuarant was named Graceland. Then in 1992 an Elvis themed party was held at the Graceland restaurant for the editor of the local paper. However, it was someone else that came up with the idea of turning the party into an annual event. So in 1993, 200 people went to the festival which mainly showed Elvis movies but they did have a Tribute Concert band that played Elvis songs and to topped it off a Elvis Lookalike competition and a street parade.
Apparently 2003 the local council became involved and then NSW TrainLink got involve, so today NSW TrainLink has a train that puts on a special 'Elvis Express' which allows Elvis fans to dress up and get in the Elvis mood with Elvis songs.
Well, I'm not sure about this festival but I do like supporting the town... If you are thinking of going, this is the offical website so click to find out more ...parkes-elvis-festival-is-sending-a-big-hunka-love-to-all-during-this-difficult-time
Things to do:
- Visit in January for the Elvis Presley Festival
- Visit the Big Dish anytime for the year @ 585 Telescope Road,Parkes NSW 2870
I was blow away by my visit to the CSIRO Observatory, it wasn't just about the massive dish they have but more about how simple the technology was back in 1969 and how clever the people that helped on that Apollo mission.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
January: Country Link Parkes Elvis Festival, Australia Day Celebrations
February: National Local Government Touch Football Carnival
March: Rotary Charity Golf Tournament, Parkes Field Day, Elvis World Cup Australian Qualifier
April: Tullamore Irish Festival, Ted Fest Oz, Australian National Aerobatics Championships, Australian Marbles Championships
June: Parkes Picnic Races, Peak Hill Art & Craft Exhibition, Parkes & District Kennel Club Show, Australian Scale Aerobatics Championships
August: Parkes & Shire Annual Shows
September: Trundle Bush Tucker Day, Parkes Open Golf Tournament
October: 2PK Country Music Spectacular, Northparkes GP Cup, Parkes Car Enthusiasts Weekend & Annual Swap Meet, Peak Hill Spit ‘n’ Spud
December: Christmas Street Parade & Carnival, Carols in the Park
Places to Stay Hotels
I stayed at Hotel Gracelands, which is a lovely boutique hotel with only 20 rooms. Rooms were lovely and clean and not to expensive to stay there.
There are plenty of places to stay so visit https://visitparkes.com.au/stay/parkes-accommodation/ to find out more. The website is amazing as it allows you to book directly with the hotels.
Places to Stay Campsite and Caravan Parks
Spicer Caravan Park is a large park with great facilities but only 4 ensuite sites so get in quick if you want an ensuite.