Cooler temperatures could not stop the Smoky Mountain spirit on Parade Day in Pigeon Forge, TN.
All photos courtesy of Curtis Hilbun
On Friday, May 5, Grand Marshal and hometown girl, Dolly Parton, led the 32nd Annual Dolly Homecoming Parade. She waved to the crowd lining the route down the Parkway. This year she sat atop a Dollywood-sponsored float celebrating the Great Smoky Mountains. The float was dedicated to those she affectionately calls “my people” with #SomeplaceSpecial and the words "Mountain Tough."
Dixie Stampede debuted their special 30th Anniversary float. The dinner attraction is celebrating their 30th season in Pigeon Forge, TN this year. The season marks the return of the Thundering Longhorns, a fan favorite, to the main show.
Additionally, Pigeon Forge’s newest show, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures made their first appearance in the parade. The show opened this spring. Dolly Parton and resident storyteller AppleJack tell this thrilling story. Visitors can expect music, laughter, edge-of-your-seat special effects and thrilling specialty acts. The show features competitions, romance and much more.
The parade also featured a host of elaborately decorated floats from some of the area's most popular attractions. Music filled the air from marching bands. Veteran groups proudly walked the route and entertainers of all varieties brought smiles and laughter to everyone in attendance.
The annual event draws crowds upwards of 50,000 people. Folks travel from near and far for the chance to experience the excitement and to welcome Dolly home.