Official Dolly Parton

Latest News and History

Extraordinary Bluegrass Entertainment, Tasty Barbeque Headline Dollywood’s Annual Festival May 25 – June 10

Published May 22, 2018 / Last Updated May 22, 2018

Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers really heats up during Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® May 25 – June 10.

The festival features a stellar lineup of bluegrass music’s best artists as well as expertly-prepared barbeque from Dollywood’s Golden Ticket Award-winning foods team.

The opening weekend of the festival kicks off with The Gibson Brothers (May 25) and the “Queen of Bluegrass” Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (May 26-27). Dailey & Vincent (May 29-30), Molly Tuttle (May 31) and The Seldom Scene (June 5) are among the headliners during the festival. Seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Vocal Group of the Year Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (June 7) also makes an appearance during the event.

“When I decided this would be the Season of Showstoppers,” Dolly Parton began, “I couldn’t wait to see what kind of talent our folks would be able to round up to perform during my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival. Well, I’ll tell you they definitely did me proud, because it’s quite the lineup. It’s always a real treat to have these performers with us, folks like Doyle Lawson and my good friend Rhonda Vincent. All these performers are the best in the business.

“Plus our foods team—which won a pretty big award last year—is cooking up some great barbeque to go along with all that good music. You know how much I love their ribs! I suggest everyone sit down with a big plate of them and take in those beautiful bluegrass sounds.”


Doyle Lawson is a regular during this festival. He counts Dollywood among the best places to perform. He said,

“Just as Dolly is an exciting entertainer, Dollywood is an exciting place to entertain! Great venue, great audience.”

An impressive calendar of bluegrass talent performs throughout the festival with more than 350 individual concerts—all included with park admission—scheduled during the festival.

Groups Performing In Celebrity Theater:
The Grascals (May 28)
Blue Highway (June 2)
Flatt Lonesome (June 3)
Darin and Brooke Aldridge (June 10)

Groups Performing In Showstreet Palace Theater:
Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (May 25)
Phil Leadbetter’s Bluegrass All-Stars (June 9)
America’s Got Talent semi-finalists Mountain Faith (May 30)

For a complete lineup of concert performances and show times, please visit or view the Dollywood App.

Darin and Brooke Aldridge make their first trip to perform at Dollywood and eagerly anticipate performing at the place they’ve grown up visiting for years.

“We are so excited to make our very first appearance at Dollywood this June,” Brooke Aldridge said. “It’s been a theme park we’ve always loved and attended since we were kids. The shows there are always stellar, and we can’t wait to showcase our musical talents in Dollywood’s family-friendly environment.”


Fresh off Amusement Today’s 2017 Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Food, Dollywood’s foods team offers dining options that create a sweet harmony with the music from the finest in bluegrass. Traditional items, including hickory-smoked ribs, slow-smoked pulled pork and beef brisket, highlight the menu, while a number of new favorites make their debut.

Dollywood chefs took advantage of the park’s new partnership with BUSH’S® Beans to create several tantalizing new recipes, including Cowboy Kettle Beans. BBQ pork nachos, pork belly mac & cheese, and the BBQ bowl—featuring pulled pork atop Dollywood’s famous BIG SKILLET potatoes—are new this year. Chicken and waffles funnel cake, Dollywood’s twist on chicken & waffles, appears for the first time as well. Grilled watermelon salad and a bacon-wrapped hot dog on a pretzel roll also are new in 2018.

For more information, show times and food information for Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S®, please call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD, visit or download the new Dollywood App.

Team DollyExtraordinary Bluegrass Entertainment, Tasty Barbeque Headline Dollywood’s Annual Festival May 25 – June 10

Dolly Parton Unveils Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden At Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

Published May 22, 2018 / Last Updated May 23, 2018

Dolly Parton helped unveil the newly-added Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital honoring her niece.

Hannah Dennison, Dolly’s niece, was diagnosed with leukemia as a child and received treatment at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Today she is a beautiful example of hope and inspiration and recently celebrated her 30th birthday. Dolly calls Hannah her “chemo hero” and wrote and recorded a song of the same name on her “I Believe In You” children’s album.

On Thursday, May 17, Dolly donated $1 million to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and helped unveil the Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden honoring her niece. Dolly said,

“Twenty-six years ago was when Hannah was diagnosed with leukemia and for five years, we didn’t know if we would be keeping her or not but Hannah now stands here as our chemo hero and she actually shows us all that miracles do happen.”

Listen to a preview of, “Chemo Hero” from Dolly’s “I Believe In You” children’s album which benefits Dolly Parton

Photo Credit: John Russell

Team DollyDolly Parton Unveils Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden At Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

Dollywood’s Splash Country Slides Into 18th Season With Park Upgrades

Published May 16, 2018 / Last Updated May 16, 2018

Guest comfort and new options are the focus of 2018 at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

At Dollywood’s Splash Country, summertime is playtime! Children are out of school and families have the opportunity to spend more time together making memories. In celebration of the water park opening on May 19, Dollywood is offering a weeklong sale to kick off the season: purchase a two-day Dollywood ticket and upgrade to a two-day, multi-park ticket for free! Guests can take advantage of this online offer until May 18 and the tickets can be used through June 3.

A special ticket offer isn’t the only exciting news. For its 18th season, Dollywood’s Splash Country is delighted to showcase park upgrades. The water park is introducing Too Hot Tuesdays with a DJ on the wave pool deck and lots of new menu items. Guests won’t know which way to look first!

Comfort Upgrades

From new landscaping and additional shade to new paint and theming, Dollywood’s Splash Country is hoping to treat water park guests to a mountain oasis getaway. Guests will find new lounge chairs throughout the park this season, and now they can rent Luxury Loungers in addition to Retreats and Canopies for guaranteed shade and comfort in between splashing and playing. The water park also has made improvements to wait times including self-serve ticket kiosks and opportunities to save 90% of the ride wait time with new TimeSaver H2O options—perfect for those hot days when you want to be in the water as much as possible.

“We love combing through guest feedback and delivering solutions to those requests,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson. “This season we’re pleased we can provide so much added value including Platinum TimeSaver H2O, new shade structures over queue lines, and new aquatic wheelchairs.”

Building on the response to the water park’s calming area and accessibility tubes, Dollywood’s Splash Country also is adding aquatic wheelchairs and adult changing tables for families to utilize this season. It is Dollywood’s Splash Country’s desire to make the water park fun for everyone, and simple additions like aquatic wheelchairs can make a big difference for families who have never been able to enjoy water attractions before.

“Our lifeguards and hosts can’t wait to welcome guests back to Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2018,” Dawson continued. “We are so proud of the work we accomplished in the off-season and we know our guests are going to love the upgrades, too. Splash Country will be the place to be this summer!”

Entertainment & Dining Upgrades

New this season, guests can look forward to Too Hot Tuesdays featuring a DJ on the wave pool deck noon – 3 p.m. (Tuesdays May 22 – June 26). Expect family-friendly summer hits and interactive games to enhance the experience.

When it’s time to take a break and enjoy a meal or snack, there are plenty of new offerings for guests to try! Trailhead Tacos is a newly-rethemed eatery that will feature a Tex-Mex menu, while other venues will boast new menu items. Make 2018 the year to try Loaded Tots, a new BeaverTail flavor featuring MoonPie, and a Cookie Dough Dream flavored gourmet milkshake. If guests need more reasons to be excited about topping off their water park day with refreshments, they also can enjoy Splash Country’s new Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.

Opening Day

Dollywood’s Splash Country opens Saturday, May 19. Daily operation continues through Sunday, August 12. After that, the park shifts operations to Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends with the last day being Labor Day (Sept. 3). For more information about Dollywood’s Splash Country or any of The Dollywood Company properties, please visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDollywood’s Splash Country Slides Into 18th Season With Park Upgrades

Vocal Trash Brings “Upcycled” Instruments, Unique Sound To Dollywood

Published May 9, 2018 / Last Updated May 9, 2018

Vocal Trash set to perform in Dollywood’s new Plaza at Wilderness Pass during May

As Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers continues, a refreshing new performance group visits during May, but as talented as they are, it’s their instruments that may catch guests’ attention.

Vocal Trash, which performs in Dollywood’s new Plaza at Wilderness Pass May 9-11 and May 16-24, is best described as “music with a message.” This environmentally-minded cast combines high-energy singers, drummers and dancers to captivate Dollywood audiences with a meaningful experience they won’t soon forget.

“In a day and age where family entertainment is becoming more and more difficult to find, we feel Dollywood is the perfect opportunity to present a positive family-friendly experience for everyone,” group co-founder and performer Steve Linder said. “We are honored to be part of such an admirable brand for good, clean fun and have always considered Dolly herself to be a positive force for the community based on her history of giving back to those who need it.”

Vocal Trash has played to crowds across the nation, presenting their own unique take on recycling and conservation through their “upcycled” musical instruments. The group’s instruments all come from items that most people would consider refuse. Vocal Trash, however, wants to remind audiences that many items have a second useful life.

The Vocal Trash ensemble uses a toolbox bass and an upright milk urn bass. Their percussion section consists of metal trash cans, PVC pipes, pots and pans, and water bottles and jugs, among other landfill-rescued items. The group combines breakdancing, singing, comedy and more to create an experience guests have never seen before.

The band’s message also includes their THINK Program. Utilizing song and dance, the curriculum provides useful methods to teach young minds that their imagination can help them find meaningful ways to reuse items that normally would end up in a landfill. With the number of school groups traveling to Dollywood in the spring, Vocal Trash’s performances are perfect for visiting students.

“Vocal Trash encourages both children and adults to use their imagination in a meaningful and lasting way as it relates to ‘eco-friendly living,’” Linder explained.

For more information about Vocal Trash and Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers, please visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyVocal Trash Brings “Upcycled” Instruments, Unique Sound To Dollywood

Dolly Parton At My People Senior Activity Center Dedication

Published May 8, 2018 / Last Updated May 8, 2018

Dolly Parton stops by senior center for a surprise visit and special dedication.

A group of senior adults received a surprise visit from Dolly Parton on Monday, May 7, 2018. Dolly dropped in the newly renamed My People Senior Activity Center for a special dedication ceremony in honor of her parents, Lee and Avie Lee Parton.

Before the dedication and renaming ceremony, Dolly toured the facility. She sat in on an exercise class and a woodworking demonstration. There she was given a wooden bowl made from trees burned in the Gatlinburg wildfires. Another crafting club gave her a beautiful mosaic butterfly. She also popped in on a quilting class where talented quilters practice their handiwork. The beautiful quilts reminded her of her mother’s handmade quilts and clothes that were such a big part of her childhood.

At the center, seniors in Sevier County enjoy a number of activities, including fitness classes, crafting clubs, games and much more. As one of the center’s newest members, Dolly received her membership card allowing her access to all the amenities offered at the center. Of course, Dolly joked about her own senior status. She said,

“I am so excited to be part of this today. Of course, you know I’m a senior too. When I was over in Sevier County High School, I couldn’t wait to be a senior, and now that I’m in my second childhood, I’m a senior again.”

Renaming The Center

The name change is part of a rebranding initiative. The goal is to set the center apart from area medical facilities and remind people of their focus on programs, activities and services for adults over 60. The center provides a place for seniors to keep active and involved in a number of areas. Dolly spoke about how she maintains her young-at-heart mentality.

“I just keep myself busy, and I think that’s the key to staying young, and I’m proud to be a senior citizen. Of course, we all wish we could stay 30 forever, but we can’t, so I think it’s important that we stay active,” Dolly said. “We stay with a good attitude and get out and stay involved, make friends and be whatever, and I think being a part of this whole thing is really great, and it is my pleasure to dedicate this to my people.”

A number of Dolly’s family attended the dedication ceremony. Sevier County Mayor, Larry Waters and Sevierville Mayor, Bryan Atchley were also present. And Mayor Waters announced plans to expand the facility.

The My People Senior Activity Center is located at 1220 West Main Street Sevierville, TN 37862. Call 865-453-8080 for more information on programs and membership.

Dolly with the My People Senior Activity Center staff

Dolly receives a beautiful mosaic butterfly
Dolly visits the woodworking shop
Dolly receives a wooden bowl made from trees burned in the Gatlinburg wildfires
Dolly joins an exercise class
Dolly joins an exercise class
Dolly talks with the quilting class
Wood burning art on display
Beautiful mosaic butterfly
Dolly Parton with her brothers and sisters
Coat of Many Colors is always a favorite
Team DollyDolly Parton At My People Senior Activity Center Dedication