Elvis Presley once sang about waiting for a train carrying his sweetheart to come around the bend.

More than six decades after Mystery Train was recorded, fans have boarded the Elvis Express to the 29th Elvis Festival in Parkes, in central west NSW.

Wearing bedazzled white jumpsuits, rockabilly skirts and bouffant wigs, they boarded the train at Central Station in Sydney early on Thursday morning.

Parkes Mayor Ken Keith, wearing a baby blue jumpsuit, waved fans off at platform five before heading to the airport to catch the Hound Dog Express flight out of the city.

Mr Keith says revellers have arrived in Parkes with a renewed sense of fun after the festival was cancelled last year and postponed this year due to COVID-19.


“People just want to let their hair down and have fun again,” Mr Keith told AAP.

He said Elvis’s enduring legacy continues to make people happy.

“He has such wonderful music that so many people know and can sing and dance to, and there’s the opportunity to dress up.

“When you’ve got a mayor who is silly enough to dress up, you know we don’t take ourselves too seriously in Parkes.”

The festival’s major events include a street parade on Saturday, a Speedway car exhibition, concerts by American tribute artist Taylor Rodriguez, busking, look-alike competitions, and a vow renewal ceremony on Sunday.