Watch part two

Despite bushfires, flood, public ridicule, and financial loss, a small ban of devotees from the tiny rural town of Parkes battle against the odds to create the biggest and most unlikely Elvis festival in Australia.

Parkes is not what you would call the usual setting for an Elvis sighting.

Its struggling economy is not based in deep-fried peanut butter sandwiches and other delicacies from the King's cookbook of artery-hardening, roadkill-based treats, nor is it a fixture on the circuit of touring musicians.

That a small cabal of locals should decide to lift the region's flagging fortunes with a festival in the King's honour is remarkable enough; that it should, after many an obstacle and local antipathy, find traction and develop into an eagerly awaited highlight of the annual calendar, even more so.

Filmed in the same good humoured vein with which the festival is curated, Elvis Lives in Parkes provides a potted history of the festival, from early days when Elvis devotees Bob and Anne Steel first floated their idea to widespread disdain, to the triumph of the festival when hundreds of Elvis impersonators converged on the town in the second weekend of January.

This episode of Witness aired from December 17, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera