Elvis Presley impersonators and fans have kicked off their annual pilgrimage, decked out in their own King-themed costumes on their way to one of the biggest Elvis festivals in the world.
The seven-hour journey is a celebration aboard the NSW TrainLink Elvis Express as fans prepare to take part in a five-day festival dedicated to the King of Rock and Roll.
Around 250 passengers, many of them dressed in outfits including sequined suits and iconic aviator sunglasses, are travelling from Sydney’s Central Station to the 2024 Parkes Elvis Festival in the state’s central west.
Minister for the Arts, Minister for Jobs and Tourism and Minister for Music and Night-time Economy John Graham farewelled the NSW TrainLink Elvis Express this morning at the starting point of its 365km journey while Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison is travelling on the train from Orange East Fork to Parkes.
This festival, which runs until Sunday 14 January, is expected to attract more than 25,000 fans. This year’s theme is ‘Jailhouse Rock’.
It’s estimated that the multi-award-winning event brings around $15 million to the central-west region each year, with all accommodation fully booked in Parkes and flow-on bookings in surrounding towns.
Quotes attributable to Minister for the Arts, Minister for Jobs and Tourism and Minister for Music and Night-time Economy John Graham:
“In the tradition of Elvis’ Mystery Train this is a specially branded five-carriage train service that will be rockin’ and rollin’ Elvis fans all the way to Parkes.
“I hope the train full of fans from all walks of life will enjoy the music, and the beautiful view as they travel from our harbour city to the big dish.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Jenny Aitchison:
“This partnership between NSW TrainLink and the 2024 Parkes Elvis Festival enriches the festival experience and reinforces the significance of regional events in showcasing the diversity and charm of our communities across the state.
“The Elvis Express is more than just a train ride; it is also an experience that offers passengers the chance to celebrate and enjoy a nostalgic journey in the vibrant and festive atmosphere of the Presley era.
“Through special event services such as these, as well as its regular scheduled services, NSW TrainLink remains committed to regional communities and passengers who are looking to enjoy the ride to events all over NSW.”
Quotes attributable to Mayor of Parkes Shire Council Neil Westcott:
“We are honoured to be hosting the 31st Parkes Elvis Festival in 2024 and the passion for our event grows every year.
“We're grateful for our ongoing relationship with Transport for NSW and their support in enabling the unique travel experience from Sydney to our festival.
“As soon as you board this train you'll quickly realise the next few days are going to be an experience you'll treasure for a lifetime!”
Heath Aston | Minister Graham | 0458 655 879
Wendy Fitzgibbon | Minister Aitchison | 0408 427 540