Parkes Elvis Festival: All dressed up and ready for the street parade.
Parkes Elvis Festival: All dressed up and ready for the street parade. Deanna Mastellone

It's all about having fun, and lots of it

MEET The Italian Lady. Resplendent in her Elvis-era outfit, Deanna Mastellone is dancing and singing her worries away at the Parkes Elvis Festival.

Deanna and her five friends have travelled from Sydney to Parkes on by train on the Elvis Express joining about 25,000 other enthusiasts for five days of everything that is Elvis at the annual Elvis Festival being held western NSW country town of Parkes.

People have come everywhere, by train, plane, bus and car, dressed in their Elvis-era best to celebrate this year's theme - 50 years since the '68 Comeback Special. 

This is Deanna's fifth year at the festival. "It's pure and utter fun," she said. "We come here, leaving our troubles behind, to party, dance, sing and dress-up. It's just the most amazing five days of the year."

The majority of people attending the festival dress-up every day, some spending more time on the detail than others. "The twins, Gail and Wendy, have a new outfit for every day of the festival, I just have one new outfit for the train and for the street parade," Deanna said. 

Every day and night there is plenty to do, but Saturday is the favourite street parade with lots of vintage cars. This morning was the gospel service.

"I hire a ute with a flashing light for the parade and we decorate the whole ute according to the theme," she said. "We go in the street parade and stand on the back.

"The gospel service is usually attended by over 3000 people. It's absolutely sensational."

Deanna said there is a range of ages attending and prizes for the very young through to the much older, the best-dressed person and street parade entry, best tribute artist and more.

If you are planning on attending the festival next year, the theme is All Shook Up. 


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