Parkes 2008: Well the 16th Parkes Elvis Festival was held on the weekend with some 8,000 Elvis fans in attendance. Steve, Andree and I along with a large number of club members were in attendance. It was the 1st time in some 10 years that Andree & I had attended. We drove to Parkes on Friday afternoon arriving there at around 10.30pm. On entering the town you new you were in Elvis country as within a minute we had spotted our 1st jump suited Elvis.
As it had been a long day Andree and I decided it was time to catch 40 winks and freshen up ready for Saturdays Events, while Steve decided it was time to start tuning the vocal cords ready for the weekend at the Parkes Hotel.
Day 2. We got up early and had a spot of breakfast and managed a spot ready for the grand street parade. I must say I saw more jump suits in the parade than was in Memphis during the 30th Anniversary. They wore suits ranging from BK Enterprise Quality Outfits to tacky paper jumpsuits the parade lasted some 50 minutes then it was off to check out the Elvis Market stalls and also the different shows around town.
Mark Andrews (Elvis Leaves His Mark) was the star attraction but also in town were club member Norm Bakker, The Ghost of Elvis and many more singing around the traps.
The afternoon reached 44 degrees and the heat was starting to affect me, so around 2.30pm we went back to the hotel for a quick nap and freshen up for the evening.
Then with Steve it was down to see El Gamble do a podcast to Elvii radio and onto the Parkes Hotel for a Karaoke contest. Problem was the Karaoke contest did not eventuate as despite advertising cash prizes in the original brochure the pub decided to pull out and not give the advertised prizes. I thought this was pretty poor as they were charging drink prices higher than major hotels such as the Intercontinental in Sydney. It could not have hurt them even to give away a couple of bottles of wine.
One concern I do have about this festival is the lack of the event to suitably handle the number of people in attendance for such basic things as being able to get a meal. Saturday night I found it impossible to get a meal in town and was lucky that the Uniting Church had a sausage sizzle in the Park open.
I would hate to see how they could handle the event growing anymore than it is, due to the lack of accommodation & restaurant facilities for out of towners.
Day 3: The day started off with us attending the Annual Gospel Service, were Steve performed a song. The service in my opinion was the highlight of the weekend and I praise the organisers of this event for the job they do.
Following the service we went down to the park again to see the Elvis sound-a-like contest heats. I have to say a couple of things in regards to this contest.
Personally, I think it is time they improved there judges, as the best vocalist on the day did not win.
The winner Silas Lulic had the looks and was dressed in a Blue Hawaii outfit, his first song Blue Hawaii vocally was not great, his 2nd song Rock-A-Hula Baby was better and he definitely had some good moves but vocally he was not strong. Overall it was a sound performance but there was something lacking.
2nd place went to Elvis Stefanoski (a committee member) who decided to do a version of Suspicious Minds with a didgeridoo player backing him.
I’m sorry, but this act lost me, Elvis never had a didgeridoo player backing him and personally I believe committee members should be excluded from the contest.