3.11pm, Saturday 8th January 2011, Yalumba Clocktower, Angaston, Barossa Valley
This is just a quick one folks, for all those Elvis fans out there, especially the hardliners like our own Tania Z in order entry across at Melbourne branch. She lives the ’60s lifestyle, and her husband, Tony, proposed on the steps of Graceland! Doesn’t get much better than that! Today is Elvis’s birthday, and if he were still around, he would have been 76 years old – and still sounding good. And if we could be anywhere in Australia today, it would be in the small rural city of Parkes in New South Wales. Now Parkes is already pretty famous for being the home of “The Dish” – the huge radio telescope outside of town that was pivotal in the first lunar landing – check the film of the same name starring Sam Neill – still a classic.
But these days Parkes is equally famous as the home of the Elvis Birthday Festival. It’s four days of Elvis inspired song, dance and mayhem – and should be done at least once in your lifetime.Even the local RSL club goes all out, serving the special ‘Hunka Hunka’ huge breakfast every day. (If it sounds like I’m talking from personal experience – yep – done it once and can’t wait to get back.) The big event for this year’s Festival is the Guiness World Record attempt to break the largest gathering of Elvis Tribute Artists – last year 645 Elvises got together in Las vegas to sing “A Little Less Conversation”. So with any luck, if they can get 646 Elvises in the one spot in Parkes, then the job will be done. I’ll let you know how it goes!
I’m wearing my ‘The Kings Head” T-shirt today – bought at the pub of the same name last year in Galway, Ireland – to be part of it all, and sometime today – slide that famous line in somewhere – “thank you, thank you very much” and you will have done your bit to mark the day as well!