Every year, on the birthday of the King –Elvis Presley –hundreds of hip-swinging rockers converge on Central Station in Sydney to board the Elvis Express train to head out to the Parkes Elvis Festival.
The dedicated XPT isknown for itsrollicking atmosphere on the seven-hour journey through the Blue Mountains and Central West, and for third-straight year one of Newcastle’s entertainers will be waltzing through the carriages.
VIVA LAS PARKES: The Elvis Express departs Central Station for Parkes Elvis Festival every year. Picture: Edwina Pickles.
Aaron W. Mansfield, 36, from Mayfield, will join the revellers for the long trip out West and this year he will be taking two sets of costumes.
“It’s my third year on the Elvis Express train heading down to Australia’s biggest Elvis Extravaganza,” Mr Mansfield said.
“Once a year I dress up as Elvis for the festival, but generally speaking I’m actually known as Australia’s No. 1 Roy Orbison tribute artist.
“I’ll do a guest performance on the train [as Elvis], but then I’m one of the feature artists at the festival performing as Roy.”
READ MORE:2018 Parkes Elvis Festival: All the action from the streets of Parkes
A life-long entertainer, Mr Mansfield started performing as a tribute artist around six years ago. He just finished his second nationwide tour performing as Roy Orbison and has, at times, made a living from singing on cruise ships throughout the Pacific.
The train departs at 9.20am on Thursday from Platform 1 and will roll into Parkes for fourdays of Elvis-themed entertainment.
“Parkes is sort of Mecca,” Mr Mansfield explained.
“It’s a pilgrimage for Elvis fans to come together from all over the Australia – and indeed the world – to enjoy and celebrate the life of Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll in general.”
Remember the all-Elvis rugby match of 2017?They were kitted outin their hunky best with matching white jumpsuits, big-hair wigs and (some) fake bellies.
And they played rugby, too. well, a version of it perhaps.
Relive it here.
The Herald, Newcastle