400 Elvis lookalikes to take part in Australian festival

January 9th, 2009 - 2:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 9 (DPA) A train with 400 Elvis lookalikes left Sydney Friday for Parkes and its week-long King of Rock festival.Every year since 1995 thousands of Elvis Presley fans have made the trip to Parkes, an 11,000-inhabitant town in New South Wales, for a convention.

More than 1,000 well-wishers were at central station to see off the pilgrims on their 350-kilometre journey north. Over 5,000 fans are in Parkes and surrounding country towns for a gathering to mark Elvis’ birth in Tupelo, Mississippi, Jan 8, 1935.

Events awaiting the pilgrims are an Elvis Gospel Church Service, an Elvis street parade, the crowning of Miss Priscilla and the opportunity to renew wedding vows before Elvis impersonator and licensed Elvis marriage celebrant Dean Vegas.

For the first time this year the faithful will get to see some of the trappings of the King. Greg Page, a former member of the acclaimed children’s entertainers The Wiggles, is in Parkes to put on show his million-dollar collection of Elvis memorabilia.

The retired Yellow Wiggle is reckoned to be the world’s fourth largest collector of Elvis stuff and intends to open a permanent museum in Parkes.

On show this year will be the management contract Elvis and manager Colonel Tom Parker signed, Elvis and Priscilla’s marriage certificate and one of Elvis’ gold lame stage costumes.

“There’s no point in me being custodian of all these items if people can’t see them and enjoy them and get the same experience from them as what I do,” Page said. “It would be a pretty selfish thing, wouldn’t it.”

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