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Dolly Parton To Be Inducted Into East Tennessee Writers Hall Of Fame

Published July 23, 2019 / Last Updated July 23, 2019

Dolly Parton will be inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall Of Fame sponsored by Friends of Literacy.

On Friday, September 20, sixteen prominent writers will be inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. This year’s awards gala will be at the Historic Southern Railway Station. Friends of Literacy has sponsored the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame for 16 years and is proud to honor the significant contributions of local writers to the culture and history of the region.

Inductees include Michael Lofaro (Lifetime Achievement), Elizabeth Genovise (Fiction), Kim Trevathan (Nonfiction), Rhea Carmon (Poetry), Paul Harrill (Screenwriting), Jamie Satterfield (Journalism), Alan Sherrod (Social Media), and Karen E. Reynolds (Songwriting). Accepting their awards by video will be Rick Yancey (Young Adult Literature) and Dolly Parton (Outstanding Contribution to East Tennessee Culture and Literacy).

Additionally, six East Tennessee writers are being inducted posthumously: Kim Williams (Songwriting), Rikki Hall (Journalism), Anne Wetzell Armstrong (Fiction), Sarah Booth Conroy (Nonfiction), Bert Vincent (Nonfiction), and George Washington Harris (Lifetime Achievement). The evening will also include a presentation by a Friends of Literacy student.

Event Sponsors

Sponsors for this year’s event include 21st Mortgage Corporation, WNOX Radio, Knoxville News Sentinel, Pilot Flying J, KPMG, LHP Capital, and Herron-Connell Insurance.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets go on sale August 1. Individual tickets are $100 each and include dinner and cash bar. Tables are $1,000 each and include a VIP meet and greet with the writers. Tickets may be purchased online at or, or by phone at 865-549-7007.

About Friends Of Literacy

Friends of Literacy is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve adult literacy and education in East Tennessee. Proceeds from the gala support those programs.


Team DollyDolly Parton To Be Inducted Into East Tennessee Writers Hall Of Fame

The Comedy Barn Celebrates 25 Years

Published July 22, 2019 / Last Updated July 22, 2019

For 25 years, The Comedy Barn has supplied barrels of laughs at the world’s longest-running clean comedy theater.

For 25 seasons, The Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN has combined the talents and fun antics of magicians, comedians, jugglers, ventriloquists and members of the audience in a variety of fun routines offering surprises and laughs galore.

It’s time to recognize those millions of laughs and memories from 25 seasons with a special show to celebrate the unending laughter and family fun of what has become the most successful and most attended clean comedy theater in the world!

On July 30, 2019, The Comedy Barn will host a special show celebrating their incredible 25 years of fun and laughter.



About The Comedy Barn

The Comedy Barn® Theater in Pigeon Forge offers clean comedy for an enjoyable evening of family fun while you are on your vacation or getaway. Over two hours of side-splitting jokes and hilarious antics. You’ll laugh until you can’t laugh anymore.

The Comedy Barn was purchased by Dolly Parton’s dinner show company, World Choice Investments (WCI) in February 2019. Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, Smoky Mountain Opry and Magic Beyond Belief were included in the acquisition.

Visit The Comedy Barn For Show Dates And Tickets Options

Team DollyThe Comedy Barn Celebrates 25 Years

Hallmark Channel Announces “Christmas At Dollywood,” Starring Danica McKellar

Published July 12, 2019 / Last Updated July 12, 2019

Production to begin on Hallmark Channel’s “Christmas At Dollywood,” Starring Danica McKellar with a special appearance by Country Music legend and American Treasure, Dolly Parton

A Must-See Film, In a Must-See Place, Just in Time for Hallmark Channel’s Ratings-Winning 10th Anniversary of COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS

Hallmark Channel announces Danica McKellar, is set as the lead of the World Premiere Original Movie, “Christmas At Dollywood,” premiering in December as part of the network’s 10th Anniversary salute to its #1-rated COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS program event. Making a special appearance in the film is Dollywood’s beloved namesake, country music legend and American treasure, Dolly Parton. The film commences principal photography at the theme park in November.

In “Christmas At Dollywood,” Rachel Lewis (McKellar) is a single mom and award-winning Broadway producer who learns investors have mismanaged her latest theatrical – a holiday extravaganza – into bankruptcy, forcing the show to close before it opens. Rachel is dismayed, but not for long, as her friend calls from Tennessee to let her know there is an opportunity for a seasoned pro to produce a show for the 20th anniversary of the award-winning Smoky Mountain Christmas festival at Dollywood. One caveat, Rachel learns this is a co-production with Luke Hakman, entertainment director for Dollywood.

Luke is a long-time Dollywood employee who sees the holiday show as key to him becoming the park’s next GM. With nine-year-old daughter Amy in tow, Rachel leaves New York City to return to her Appalachian mountain roots. Every night as Rachel tucks Amy into bed, she tells the child a new ADVENTURES OF AMY story, a collection of personal mother-daughter bedtime stories Rachel hopes to author someday. One night, Rachel tells Amy about a little girl following Santa Claus on his route. Using the stars as her guide, fantasy Amy travels with Santa to the Northern Lights. Rachel tells her child the lights are so magical and beautiful that Amy can always look to the night sky to find her way home. Is this an idea for the new Dollywood show? Rachel thinks so, though she will have to convince a skeptical Luke who has his own vision of success. As the pair meets in the middle to please the boss, little do Rachel and Luke realize love lurks in all the unexpected places because this isn’t the Great White Way. Or Hollywood. This is Dollywood!

“Dolly Parton is a bright light who is rich in spirit, kindness, and love. ‘Christmas At Dollywood’ features Danica McKellar in a story about finding love and new beginnings in the most familiar place — home. A holiday movie set in a winter wonderland like Dollywood exemplifies the quality of the talent, storytelling, and filmmaking that has made COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS the #1 program event on television for ten years,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming & Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks.

Danica McKellar and Dolly Parton share a special connection to children’s literacy: both are successful authors and two of Danica’s books can be found in Dolly’s world-renowned Imagination Library.

“Christmas At Dollywood” is written by Nina Weinman. Executive Producers are Alan Ett and Bruce Hendricks.

Team DollyHallmark Channel Announces “Christmas At Dollywood,” Starring Danica McKellar

Dollywood Hosts A “Summer Celebration” Everyone Will Enjoy

Published June 24, 2019 / Last Updated June 26, 2019

Wildwood Grove, nightly fireworks, extended hours highlight summer at Dollywood

With summer quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to enjoy the biggest season in Dollywood’s history, as the award-winning vacation destination has a sensational celebration that provides families more time to enjoy together. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 22- Aug. 4) features extended park hours—10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily—as well as a nightly fireworks spectacular, thrilling new entertainment and the fun of Dollywood after dark!

Wildwood Grove

For the first time, families can enjoy the beauty of Wildwood Grove in the evening. As the sun sinks in the sky, Wildwood Grove glows warmly as lanterns and lights glimmer like cheerful fireflies. Once darkness falls, the area sparkles as the green, leafy canopy of the Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening in a unique nighttime experience that features nearly 650 lighted butterflies dancing playfully in the warm evening breeze.

Dollywood Opens Wildwood Grove Blackbear Trail

Thrilling New Entertainment

Summer Celebration also is full of new entertainment offerings, including an exciting production from Dollywood’s talented entertainment team called “Summer Feels…” Taking place in DP’s Celebrity Theater June 22- Aug. 4, “Summer Feels…” is highlighted by 10 talented performers and six world-class musicians who take audiences on a musical journey through today’s hits with a few surprising old favorites mixed in!

Several special entertainment guests visit Dollywood this summer as well. In partnership with Humana, Dollywood hosts the Tennessee Air National Guard Band of the South—which features a concert band, a classic rock and country rock band, and a brass quintet—on Monday, June 24. The group performs multiple concerts at three different performance venues in the park and inspires patriotism by fostering a deep appreciation of the rich history and legacy of the Air Force. One of the group’s missions is to increase the public’s understanding of the importance of air power, the missions and programs of the Air Force and Air National Guard and the bravery, sacrifice and dedication of Airmen across the globe.

On select Thursdays throughout the summer, WIVK and Dollywood team up to present the New Faces of Country concert series. These concerts at Back Porch Theater offer an intimate setting for fans to hear from some of the genre’s next big stars. Be sure to catch them as they begin their rise up the charts! Artists currently scheduled to appear include Adam Craig, Caylee Hammack and King Callaway.

It’s story time again as The Little Engine Playhouse showcases three favorite books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, including Coat of Many Colors, based on Parton’s children’s book. Coat of Many Colors and Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (new for 2019), feature sing-along songs that kids of all ages will enjoy. Everyone’s favorite, The Little Engine That Could, also comes to the stage with a delightful reminder of what can happen with just a little bit of determination.

Award-Winning Rides

While Dollywood guests have an amazing amount of entertainment options to enjoy during their visit, they also can experience the park’s award-winning rides in a completely different environment. Once the sun sets, Dollywood’s trademark attractions, like Wild Eagle, Lightning Rod and Thunderhead, provide a unique experience for those who climb aboard. These rides thrill guests who race through the summer night with no idea which way the track will turn next!

Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors

Each evening during Summer Celebration ends with Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors, a thrilling fireworks extravaganza synchronized to music. There is no better way to finish a day with family than by enjoying the moment together.

For more information about Dollywood’s Summer Celebration, visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD. For show schedules, park maps and more, download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyDollywood Hosts A “Summer Celebration” Everyone Will Enjoy

Dollywood’s Splash Country Continues Water Safety Day With Decade Of Swim Lessons

Published June 13, 2019 / Last Updated June 13, 2019

World’s Largest Swimming Lesson and Prizes Offered at Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Safety Day

Though drowning is preventable, it’s one of the leading causes of death among children. Dollywood’s Splash Country wants to change that. For ten years now, the water park has set aside a day to educate the community about water safety.

This year, swim instructors and community leaders will come together Thursday, June 20 to provide a free 30-minute lesson in the morning and offer education throughout the day. Area partners LeConte Medical Center, The Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, WVLT Local 8 News and WIVK 107.7 join Splash Country to host the event.

“As a family water park, we believe it is incumbent upon us to join arm-in-arm with our community and raise awareness about the benefits of teaching kids to swim,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson. “This is the tenth year that we’ve participated in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. We’ve made this an important day in our season because research shows that formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children who are four and younger. We believe this simple event can save lives.”

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson happens at pools and water parks around the world on June 20. Dollywood’s Splash Country is one of the participating venues. Last year, nearly 42,000 kids and adults participated in 27 countries.

Jenna Johnson & Coach Jackie Bertucci

Due to popular demand, Olympic gold medalist Jenna Johnson and legendary swim coach Jackie Bertucci are teaming up for a second consecutive year to lead the lesson at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

“LeConte Medical Center is honored to be a part of raising awareness concerning safety on or near water,” said LeConte Medical Center President and CAO Gaye Jolly. “The event is important to our community and we are proud to have great partners like the Dr. Robert F Thomas Foundation and Dollywood’s Splash County for Water Safety Day.”

The swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. at Mountain Waves wave pool. Vendor booths are open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Guests who visit the vendor booths receive a Splash Pass, allowing them to receive a prize at each booth. Once the participants have visited all vendors, they may turn their pass in for the chance to win two season passes to Dollywood’s Splash Country!

Event Registration

Water Safety Day and WLSL registration begins Thursday, June 20 at 9 a.m. at Dollywood’s Splash Country. The park opens to guests at 9:30 a.m. Guests should arrive early to register before the swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. Dollywood’s Splash Country admission is required to participate in Water Safety Day and may be purchased on-site or online at

DSC More Spot from Dollywood Parks & Resorts on Vimeo.

Team DollyDollywood’s Splash Country Continues Water Safety Day With Decade Of Swim Lessons