Dollywood Theme Park

Good Morning America Live From Dollywood With Dolly Parton and Robin Roberts

Published May 13, 2021 / Last Updated June 4, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Carisa Ownby
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton and Robin Roberts covered several topics during the Good Morning America live broadcast from Dollywood on May 12.

Featured photo courtesy of Curtis Hilbun

Good Morning America filmed from Dollywood this week. Robin Roberts and Dolly Parton discussed everything from Dollywood’s Flower and Food Festival to the impact of the pandemic and vaccine plus Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The park, like all industries, was shaken with closures during the pandemic; however, Dolly credits her staff, or as she refers to them her family, for making it through the tough times:

“People here are like family, so anytime you have a crisis of any kind, you just kind of pull together and get it done.”

It’s Dollywood’s 36th season, and Robin greeted Johnnie Crawford, a Dollywood employee that has worked at the parks since the beginning. Dolly credits her partners, meaning all the employees, for making Dollywood such a success.

Flower & Food Festival in Full Bloom

Beautiful flowers and delicious food is around every corner for the Flower & Food Festival at Dollywood. Last year, the closure pushed the Flower & Food Festival to the summer months, but this year it is in full bloom for the springtime.

Dollywood’s Culinary Director Aaron Banks joined Dolly and Robin for one of the Good Morning America segments. Aaron taught them how to make the Lavender Honey Mini Funnel Cakes, a featured dish during the festival. He also detailed several of the delicious dishes you can find at the park, including the Barbecue Brisket Sliders with brisket that has been smoked for more than six hours. Dolly commented:

“We cheer him [on] all the time here at Dollywood because he makes sure all the food is great. Everybody loves it. He’s a great boss and has a lot of talent — we’re lucky to have him.”

This marked the first visit for Dolly since last year when the park had to close due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020. The festival features a depiction of Dolly’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors. Dolly was quite emotional upon seeing this in person and knowing how the coat has impacted her life and career, detailing in the interview:

“Just having that big thing there that represents who I am as a person, who my parents were and the kind of mother that I was lucky enough to have and that that little coat has carried me so far. It’s kind of like a little signature thing. My life has been a life of many colors, not just the coat.”

Dolly performed “Coat of Many Colors” during the Good Morning America broadcast.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

The Imagination Library is on its way to gifting 200 million books to children. This program was created to help childhood literacy by gifting one book a month to children from birth to age five.

Originally started in Sevier County, TN, the program has since grown globally to include programs in all 50 states as well as the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia and Canada. Robin and Dolly discussed the impact this program has brought to little ones worldwide.

Dolly was inspired to create the program because of her father’s inability to read and write. Even though he was brilliant, she saw the struggles this created and wanted to help others avoid them. In the interview Dolly said:

“I’m the Book Lady. My dad took great pride in that. He got to live long enough to see the Imagination Library doing well. He got such a kick out of them calling me the Book Lady.”

Team DollyGood Morning America Live From Dollywood With Dolly Parton and Robin Roberts

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival Begins April 23

Published April 19, 2021 / Last Updated May 13, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Guests can enjoy more than half a million blooming flowers, a new dining pass and inspirational music at Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.

As spring continues to blossom throughout the Smoky Mountains, guests to Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health can enjoy more than half-a-million blooming flowers, a new dining pass that provides an unforgettable culinary journey, and a warm spring atmosphere filled with the sounds of inspirational music emanating from stages throughout the Pigeon Forge park.

Held April 23-June 7, the Dollywood Food & Flower Festival delights guests with lavish landscaping and massive floral sculptures that are brought to life by an array of more than half-a-million bright and vibrant flowers. Fun and discovery are around every corner, thanks to expansive displays which include a vivid butterfly umbrella, various scenes featuring mischievous and friendly animals, and even a depiction of Dolly’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors. These “Mosaicultures” are developed in partnership with Mosaicultures International, an internationally-known company from Montreal that specializes in these one-of-a-kind creations.

“When I was a little girl, I loved springtime because everything seemed so bright with color,” Dolly explained. “It started to get warm outside and you just felt like you could finally get out of the house after being cooped up in there for so long, which is something I know we’re all feeling right now. But the thing I remember most about those spring days were the flowers that would start blooming all over the hills. So, the Smokies really were the inspiration for this festival.”

“And I just love we made that big, beautiful display of my mama with all those wonderful flowers. It’s special to me, and I know she would have been so proud of it. But something else I’m happy about this year is that not only do we have all the flowers, we’re also bringing in a lot of great music to the festival. I just know it is really going to make the whole park feel so joyful. It’s a special time of year, and I really think Dollywood is a great place to get outdoors and enjoy it all!”

Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass

In addition to the beautiful flowers, culinary creations abound with a menu full of items inspired by spring in the Smokies. Among the new offerings in 2021 is the Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass, which allows guests to partake in multiple items at a number of culinary locations during the springtime event.

The dining pass, which is available online or at the park, is just $29.99 plus tax or $27.99 plus tax for season passholders. With the pass, guests can sample five meals at any of the Flower & Food Festival culinary locations. Among the items featured on this year’s festival menu are a Cuban sandwich with plantain chips, fish and chips, mountain paella, summer succotash featuring pan-seared chicken, lobster roll, beef bulgogi nachos, blueberry and blackberry mini funnel cake, lemon curd and blueberry liege waffle, and much more.

Melodies of Spring

Entertainment is a major component of this year’s festival, thanks to a number of performances and shows—as well as a new concert series—which take place during the event. The Melodies of Spring concert series features contemporary Christian artists, Southern gospel groups and other fresh and inspirational acts appearing inside DP’s Celebrity Theater every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival. Among the artists currently scheduled are Matthew West, Big Daddy Weave, I AM THEY, Rebecca St. James, Sidewalk Prophets, the Rhett Walker Band, Triumphant Quartet and more.

Guests also will enjoy a number of performances throughout the park from groups including The Voice contestants Worth The Wait, Willow City, The Hall Sisters and the 3 Heath Brothers. Music fills the air with the sounds of spring, thanks to Kelle Jolly at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel and roaming performer Stephani Ezatoff. All shows are included with park admission. A full schedule of performances can be found at Dollywood.com.

In addition to the visiting entertainers, several shows featuring Dollywood’s own performers debuted earlier this spring including Harmonies of the Heart—featuring Dolly’s family—and A Brighter Day, an inspiring show that delights guests with uplifting favorites at the Back Porch Theater. In The Village, Dollywood’s talented The Tones offer a fresh acapella take on today’s current hits.

Dollywood is Open for 2021 Season
Dollywood is Open for 2021 Season - Flower and Food Festival

Stunning Displays of Uplifting Art

Returning in 2021, the dazzling Umbrella Sky greets guests with a stunning visual upon arrival as hundreds of colorful umbrellas are suspended above Showstreet. The display proved to be an overwhelming hit with the bright umbrellas serving as the perfect “Instagrammable” backdrop for guest photos. A number of “Insta” opportunities are available throughout the park to help guests document the experience for their friends on social media. A new feature this year, chalk art dazzles guests with incredible displays in Adventures in Imagination. Every day, one of Dollywood’s talented artists creates uplifting works of art inspired by springtime in the Smokies.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa celebrates the Flower & Food Festival with a number of special events that bring the fun of Dollywood to the resort with blooming festival décor and floral designs. Families will find live entertainment from featured festival performers, festival-themed activities at Camp DW, as well as a special spring menu and chef demonstrations at the resort’s restaurant. The resort also partners with Biltmore Winery for a Winemaker’s Dinner on Saturday, May 22.

Exceptional Experiences, All Year Long

Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. It’s the perfect year for a season pass, as guests will want to return throughout the year to enjoy it all. After the Flower & Food Festival, guests can enjoy Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31), which includes a new evening drone show and dance party every night. Thousands of pumpkins glow to life as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24- Oct. 30), and Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 6- Jan. 2, 2022) celebrates the spirit of the season.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit dollywood.com or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyDollywood’s Flower & Food Festival Begins April 23

Dolly’s Touching Goodbye To Her Beloved Uncle Bill Owens

Published April 7, 2021 / Last Updated April 7, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly pens a heartwarming farewell for her Uncle Bill Owens upon his passing.

Billy Earl Owens: Sept. 28, 1935-April 7, 2021

I’ve lost my beloved Uncle Bill Owens. I knew my heart would break when he passed, and it did. I’ll start this eulogy by saying I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there. He was there… there in my young years to encourage me to keep playing my guitar, to keep writing my songs, to keep practicing my singing. And he was there to help build my confidence standing on stage where he was always standing behind me or close beside me with his big ol’ red Gretsch guitar.

He was there to take me around to all of the local shows, got me my first job on the “Cas Walker Show.” He took me back-&-forth to Nashville through the years, walked up-&-down the streets with me, knocking on doors to get me signed up to labels or publishing companies.

It’s really hard to say or to know for sure what all you owe somebody for your success. But I can tell you for sure that I owe Uncle Billy an awful lot.

Uncle Bill was so many things. He loved the music, loved to play, loved his guitar and loved to write and sing. He wrote great songs, at least 800 of them through the years. We wrote several songs together, the biggest one being “Put It Off Until Tomorrow.” We won our first big award on that one back in 1966. It was the BMI Song of the Year.

He wrote songs that were recorded by Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Skaggs, Kris Kristofferson and many others. He also traveled the road with many big artists playing his guitar, including playing on stage with me in my early years in Nashville.

Uncle Bill worked at Dollywood from the time we opened in the family show for many years. He was funny, friendly and generous. He always had a kind word for everybody and gave good advice to young people starting in the business. He joined forces with Dollywood, The American Chestnut Foundation, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and The American Eagle Foundation to bring back the endangered chestnut tree to the Great Smoky Mountain area. That was his passion. He also championed the cause of protecting the natural environment at Dollywood in 1986. During that time, he took it upon himself, with his wife Sandy, to plant 70,000 trees on the Park property.

I bet a lot of our own relatives don’t even know all of the great things that Uncle Bill did behind the scenes through his life. But the greatest thing he ever did for me was to help me see my dreams come true and for that I will be forever grateful. I’m sure that Uncle Bill’s friends, fans, his wife Sandy, his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will join me when I say that we will always love you. Rest in peace, Uncle Bill.

Team DollyDolly’s Touching Goodbye To Her Beloved Uncle Bill Owens

Dolly’s New Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Flavor Benefits Her Imagination Library

Published March 25, 2021 / Last Updated March 25, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams collaborate for a sweet new treat benefitting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library®.

A new limited-edition flavor, Strawberry Pretzel Pie, is available at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams on April 8. It’s the new ice cream flavor specially made for Dolly Parton by Jeni’s. Strawberry Pretzel Pie benefits Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library®, which has gifted more than 154 million books to children in five countries.

More about Jeni’s

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a Certified B Corporation endorsed by the international nonprofit B Lab as a company that meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. They are devoted to making better ice creams and bringing people together.

Team DollyDolly’s New Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Flavor Benefits Her Imagination Library

“Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute” Premieres April 7 on Netflix

Published March 23, 2021 / Last Updated March 23, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Netflix presents “Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute,” premiering April 7, 2021.

On Wednesday, April 7, “Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute” will premiere on Netflix. It’s a star-studded evening of music and memories featuring a community of iconic performers. Dolly changed the world, song by song and this special tribute celebrates everything her fans love about her artistry, compassion and generosity.

Dolly is the first artist from the Nashville music community to receive this honor. Her considerable creative accomplishments and longtime support of several causes, including her Imagination Library, led the Recording Academy™ to honor Dolly with this prestigious award in 2019. Since 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library® has gifted more than 154 million books to children from birth to five years of age in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.

Dolly’s Awards

The Recording Academy™ has recognized Dolly throughout her career, most recently when she received the GRAMMY® for Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for her duet with Zach Williams, “There Was Jesus.” This was Dolly’s 11th GRAMMY win, including her Lifetime Achievement Award and MusiCares Person of the Year Award.

Team Dolly“Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute” Premieres April 7 on Netflix