ELVIS fans in the Hawkesbury will be 'all shook up' to know that a festival dedicated to The King is coming to our town.
IT all began for Sheryl Scharkie when - blonde-haired and wearing black jeans and a blue Hawaiian shirt from Lowes - she came fourth in the Parkes Elvis Festival busking competition in 2013.
She got to sing on the big stage.
Later that year, the members of Sydney cover band Cool River approached her.
"That's when I started dyeing my hair," she told the Gazette.
Ms Scharkie, who lives in Seven Hills, has been an Elvis tribute artist (ETA) for seven years.
Her alter-ego, ShElvis, plays both festivals and gigs with the Cool River band, and she will be part of the upcoming Hawkesbury River Elvis Festival at Riverside Oaks at Cattai.
Ms Scharkie's promotional material claims that an "unusual depth to her voice and a surprising vocal range" lends itself to "the lower smoky tones of Elvis songs".
She said she is one of only two female ETAs (that she knows of) in Sydney.
"I tend to lean towards the less-well-known Elvis songs; I need to have something different to what the boys bring," she said.
"If you listen to a lot of Elvis music, you notice it has a very feminine side to it - he's very much a romantic, a sentimentalist."
You won't see her gyrating on stage, like some of the younger male ETAs do.
"Where the guys try to do the really big ballad notes and make it super powerful, they tend to forget the softer side of him, and that's where I started my tribute to him."
Ms Scharkie said a lot of the same people go to all the ETA gigs around Sydney, and she was hoping the inaugural Hawkesbury River Elvis Festival would spark the interests of a new crowd.
The Hawkesbury River Elvis Festival, organised by the same crew behind the popular Blue Mountains Elvis Festival that has been running for eight years, will take place over two days, kicking off at 6pm on Friday, February 28 with a free Elvis Rock 'n' Roll Show in the Brasserie.
There will be a special Elvis-inspired menu offering big, bold flavours and comforting southern classics.
From Saturday at 11am, there will be free live music, and kids entertainment including a jumping castle and face painting. There will also be a Ford Classic Cars Show outside.
On Saturday, there will be two feature shows in the Function Centre: the Great Legends Spectacular Show (featuring tributes to Tom Jones, Roy Orbison and Elvis) at 3pm, followed at 8pm by the main event, the Spirit of Elvis Show from Gordon Hendricks, who was named the world's number-one ETA in 2017.
ShElvis will be playing in the lounge on Friday and Saturday night.
"Come along, have a look, enjoy yourselves, it's brand new but we're hoping for big things!" Ms Scharkie said.
Go to bluemountainselvisfestival.com.au for more information on the festival, and to purchase tickets for the paid shows.