Monday, 15 January 2018

2018 Parkes Elvis Festival wraps up

Elvis has left the building.... Yesterday was the last day of the 2018 Parkes Elvis Festival. A record number of people enjuyed a full program of concerts and displays.

Accommodation was booked out in Parkes and surrounding towns, so if you intend to come to next years Elvis Festival I sugest you book your accommodation as soon as possible so that you do not miss out. 

Watch out for the release of next years program. 


Director and Producer, Bonnie Lythgoe is thrilled to announce she has cast three of the roles to star in SLEEPING BEAUTY – “A KNIGHT AVENGER’S TALE” when it opens at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre playing from 29 June to 8 July and then moving to Sydney’s State Theatre from 13 to 22 July. 

One of Australia’s favourite and most versatile performers RHONDA BURCHMORE will play the role of the wicked fairy godmother ‘Carabosse’. 

Taking the role of ‘King Louis’, Sleeping Beauty’s father will be English actor FRAZER HINES best known for his role as ‘Jamie McCrimmon’, the Doctor’s assistant, in Doctor Who. 

Australia’s favourite funny man KEV ORKIAN returns once more next winter to play the role of ‘Silly Billy’. 

Sleeping Beauty will be the fifth panto produced in Australia by Bonnie Lythgoe after the nationwide success of last year’s The Adventures of Peter Pan & Tinker Bell, Cinderella in 2016, Aladdin and his Wondrous Lamp in 2015 and Snow White Winter Family Musical in 2014. 

Over the past five winter seasons, the Bonnie Lythgoe panto family has grown to include everyone’s favourite artists from Magda Szubanski, Sir Cliff Richard, Beau Ryan, Jimmy Giggle, Jessica Rowe to Ian “Dicko” Dickinson and Todd McKenney. 

Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Princess Aurora, who by a single prick of her finger is put to sleep for 100 years. 

Doomed by fate, only a Prince’s sweet kiss can break the spell and awaken the sleeping beauty. Featuring dazzling costumes, stunning sets, magic, special effects, hilarious comedy, thrilling musical numbers and even more exciting announcements and surprises to come, this latest fairy tale promises to be a ‘beauty’! 

VENUE: Comedy Theatre, 240 Exhibition Street, Melbourne 
DATES: Friday 29 June – Sunday 8 July 
PRICES: VIP $89.95 / A Reserve $69.95 / B Reserve $59.95. 
Family tickets available 
BOOKINGS: or 1300 11 10 11 

VENUE: State Theatre, 49 Market Street, Sydney 
DATES: Friday 13 July – Sunday 22 July 
PRICES: from $52.95 to $97.95 plus Family tickets available 
BOOKINGS: or 1300 139 588

Clipper Race fleet to arrive in Whitsundays within hours

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
It is now just a few hourss until the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet arrives in the Whitsundays.

Expected arrival times have been put back due to the challenging weather conditions of the southern states, with the first yachts now expected to arrive on Tuesday (January 16).

A tight finish is predicted, with the yachts currently bunched together as they race up the east coast of Australia in the Wondrous Whitsundays Race.

The latest estimated times of arrivals for the teams into Abell Point Marina can be found on the Clipper Race website and will be updated regularly as the teams approach the finish line.

Once they arrive in the Whitsundays, the crews, their families and friends, will enjoy a two-week Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival, with a raft of events taking place right across the region.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner said the region was on high alert, ready to welcome the crews once they made it into Airlie Beach.

“We’re primed and ready to go and can’t wait to get the party started,” he said.

“The crews will be able to have a rest as soon as they arrive and then we have the Welcome Party on Friday, January 19, which will kick off the celebrations.

“We are very excited to be welcoming the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crews to the Whitsundays and we wish them well for the remainder of their exciting voyage up the coast.”

During the Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival, sailing enthusiasts will enjoy tours of the ocean-racing yachts, public talks by the skippers and opportunities to meet the crews.

There will also be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a few lucky people to race around the Whitsunday Islands on one of the Clipper yachts.

There are events planned right around the region as part of the carnival including the Bendigo Bank Clipper Welcome Party (free for everyone), the Fish D’Vine White on Whitehaven Long Lunch, the Whitsunday Foodservice Progressive Cruise Lunch and the Rodeo by the Reef, in Bowen.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only race of its kind and matches experienced skippers with novice sailors for the race, which starts and ends in Liverpool in the UK and takes in Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, China, the USA and Northern Ireland.

Crew members – who come from all over the world - can take part in just one leg or every leg of the 11-month long race around the globe.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The All-Australian leg is one of the toughest, with the Clipper crews having already completed a gruelling race around the south of Australia from Fremantle to Sydney, followed by the iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the Wondrous Whitsundays Race.

For more information and to book tickets for the events please visit


Australia's first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel was opened in Sydney today by the NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall, and offers visitors stylish accommodation next to the city's newest waterfront leisure and commercial precinct, Barangaroo.

Located on Sussex Street, the new-build West Hotel Sydney features 182 stylish guest rooms, including four spacious suites, a restaurant, bar, gym and private meeting room.

Designed by Australian Architecture firm Fitzpatrick and Partners, with interiors by Woods Bagot, the hotel has a modern classic design theme, featuring deep tones with marble and brass accents. A strong botanical theme runs throughout the hotel, most evident in the beautiful open-air garden atrium and white waratah motif in the lobby.

Contributing to Sydney's dining scene is the on-property restaurant Solander Dining and Bar, named after first fleet botanist, Daniel Solander, which has inspired the menu's focus on seasonal and botanical produce.

Visit West Hotel Sydney to find out more and make a reservation.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Winner Annouced

Anthony Petrucci (left)
The winner of the Elvis Tribute Artist contest at the Parkes Elvis Festival was announced yesterday afternoon.

From the original entrants who performed on Friday afternoon, 8 were selected to go on to yesterday afternoons grand final competition.

The first prize was awarded to Anthony Petrucci. 2nd place went to Brody Finlay (the youngest contestant) and 3rd place to Joe Piastrino. 

Anthony won a trip to Memphis. Congratulations to Anthony and all the entrants.

Ben Thompson- Elvis Tribute Artist wows audiences in Australia

Ben Thompson
Ben Thompson, the young Elvis Tribute Artist from the U.K. is the featured artist at this years Parkes Elvis Festival.

He has been wowing audiences with booked out shows at the Parkes Leagues Cub by his energetic and heartfelt Elvis songs.

He delighted ladies in the audience by inviting them to the front of the stage so he could kiss them and give them scarves.

Ben pulled 13yo Reno up from the audience and asked him to drum to Proud Mary at last night’s concert at Parkes Leagues Club and he was awesome!

Parkes Elvis Festival Street Parade

Twinkle Toes ...
The Northparkes Mines Street Parade is the major annual highlight of the Parkes Elvis Festival.

It was held yesterday to the delight of thousands of onlookers. Elvis-themed floats, Elvis and Priscilla look-a-likes, vintage and classic cars, motorcycles and marching bands down the length of Clarinda Street from Bushman Street to Cooke Park.
What a load of Elvi ......

Parade outside Elvis Central

Elvi of all ages ....

A nice day for a bicycle ride ...

Am I am seeing double?  ...  no triple

Elvis '68 Comeback

Parkes Elvis Festival - SUNDAY14 January 2018

Elvis Central 

Elvis Central 

8.30AM TO 5PM, 203 Clarinda St

Festival Markets

Cooke Park

The King’s Castle Elvis Exhibit & Parkes Motor Museum

9AM TO 5PM, Henry Parkes Centre, Newell Hwy, Ticketed

Henry Parkes Museum & Antique Machinery Collection

9AM TO 4.30PM, Newell Hwy, Ticketed


The Elvis Lennox Private Collection

9AM TO 5PM, 16 Wentworth St, Adults $10 / Concession $5 / Children U-12 $3

Parkes Elvis Festival Photography Competition Exhibition

10AM TO 4PM, Parkes Arbour (near Coles / Target), Clarinda Street

Trike Adventures

9AM TO 5PM, Around Parkes, $20 per person



FROM 9AM, Festival Boulevard, Clarinda St

Parkes Leagues Club

2PM, 2018 Feature Concert Series ‘1968:The Anniversary Event of the Comeback Special’ starring Ben Thompson, $70
The Ultimates Finale starring Brendon Chase, Nick ‘The King’ Nicholas, Paul Fenech & Elias Jamhour, $48
12 NOON TO LATE Free entry
12.30pm to 2.30pm – Elvis Tribute Artist
2.30pm to 4.30pm – Rick Charles
4.30pm to 5pm – The Rockers
5pm to 7pm – Stuey V & the Memphis Beat
7pm to 9pm – Bill & Darlene
9pm to close – Damian Mullin & the Mojo Crew

Cooke Park Main Stage

9AM, Elvis Gospel Service, Free
11.30AM, Renewal of Vows Ceremony, $50 per couple / Free for spectators
Non-Stop Entertainment, Free

Viva Splash Vegas

Parkes Aquatic Centre

5PM TO 9PM, Viva Splash Vegas, $10 adult / $5 child & season pass holder

Parkes Railway Bowling Club

7.30AM to 9AM, Elvis Buffet Breakfast
9.30AM to 11.30AM, Barefoot Bowling with Elvis
11AM TO 11PM, Non stop entertainment, Free
11am to 12pm – Barry Bishop
12pm to 2pm – In the Shadow of The King
2pm to 4pm – Lounge Elvis
4pm to 5pm – Johnny Angel
5pm to 6pm – Nick Nicholas
6pm to 8pm – Mike Tsama & Tom Jones
8pm to 10pm – Anthony Petrucci
10pm on – Barry Bishop plus guest artists

Parkes Services Club

11AM TO CLOSE, The ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ Lounge, Free entry
1PM TO 3PM, Amitie, Free
3.30PM, The Great Legends Spectacular – Tom, Elvis, Roy, $45
7.30PM, Jack Gatto – Live in Concert, $45

The Railway Hotel

1PM TO 3PM, Elvis Trivia, Free

Coachman Hotel

2PM, The Wayne Cooper Show, Free

Parkes Hotel

2PM, Elvis Tribute plus the Blues Brothers, Free

Parkes Bowling and Sports Club

5PM, Elvis & Friends Show, $10

St George’s Anglican Church

7PM, Elvis Gospel Concert – Gavin Chatelier, Free entry

Broadway Hotel

12PM TO 10PM, Karaoke

Quang Ninh to host 100 events during National Tourism Year

Up to 100 events will be held throughout 2018 in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh as part of the National Tourism Year.

The provincial People’s Committee unveiled a plan for the National Tourism Year 2018 – Ha Long – Quang Ninh on December 27.

The events will be organised by Quang Ninh, some other provinces and cities and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The province will chair the opening and closing ceremonies of the National Tourism Year 2018, Carnival Ha Long, the opening of the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019 (ATF 2019) and the Ha Long Open Golf Tournament 2019.

The opening ceremony of the National Tourism Year 2018, themed “Ha Long – Heritage, Wonder – Friendly Destination” and Carnival Ha Long is slated for April 28, 2018.

Meanwhile, the closing ceremony of the National Tourism Year and the opening of ATF 2019 and the Ha Long Open Golf Tournament 2019 are scheduled to take place in early January 2019.

Other activities include festivals and cultural and sports programmes gathering all 14 localities of Quang Ninh, giving visitors a chance to learn about local culture.

Information about the National Tourism Year 2018 can be found at the website and at Quang Ninh province’s website

Also on December 27, the Tourism Department of Quang Ninh and the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of central Ha Tinh province held a conference to promote their tourism potential.

Source: VNA

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Parkes Elvis Festival 2018 in Full Swing

Elvis performer and dancers from the audience at Cook Park Main Stage

Elvis is well and truly alive in Parkes. Thousands of people from near and far had an action-packed day of Elvis related events to go to yesterday from early breakfast to late night functions. 

Cars of the Era (....and caravan)

The main street in Parkes was blocked off to traffic to allow a display of magnificently restored Cars of the Era.

Cars of the Era

Busking continued with a variety of performers entertaining eager crowds of people.


Entertainment continued in the pubs and clubs around Parkes with plenty of free and ticketed concerts to choose from.

Concert at Services Club

The main stage in Cook Park had a continuous program entertainment. People gathered under the shade of the canopy or under the trees to enjoy the songs of Elvis and other famous artists.

Cook Park Main Stage

The Preliminary Round Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competiton was held at the Parkes Leagues Club yesterday afternoon. The judges had a hard time selecting the best 8 to go into today's finals where they will have the chance to prove they are THE ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist. The 8 chosen were - Brody Finlay, Marcus Jackson, Anthony Petrucci, Carl Erasmus, Stuey V, Mile Tsama, Joe Piastrino and Vince Gelonese.

Some of the contestants in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist
Competiton pose in front of the new Elvis Statue

The famous guitarist Phil Emmanuel presented a packed out concert in the Little Theatre. His guitar playing skills showcased his skill in playing a wide variety of music styles.

Phil Emmanuel

The newly sashed 2018 Miss Priscilla Alex Byrne went out to The Dish yesterday morning for a photo shoot with Ben Thompson, the featured Elvis artist at this years Parkes Elvis Festival.