Dolly Parton No Longer Grand Marshal of Pigeon Forge Parade
The city of Pigeon Forge has announced that Dolly Parton has decided to step down as the Grand Marshal of the Annual Dolly Parton’s Homecoming Parade after 32 years. The annual parade began in 1987, just one year after Dollywood opened. The parade served as the “kickoff” for the tourism season in the Smokies. Over the years, the parade has grown to include incredible floats & performers that attract tens of thousands of spectators each year. In addition to stepping down, Dolly’s name is being removed from the parade name as well …details below.
Dolly Parton had the following to say about stepping down as Grand Marshal:
“For 32 years, it’s been my honor and privilege to serve as the grand marshal,” Dolly said. “In that time, Pigeon Forge has grown so much and so many new businesses and attractions have come to town, everyone agrees that this is the perfect time for me to step aside and share the spotlight with some other folks. Dollywood has hogged the spotlight long enough!”
The good news is that the parade will continue, but with a new name. It is being renamed the “Music in the Mountains Spring Parade” and the new Grand Marshal for 2018 will be Cal Ripken, Jr.
The city of Pigeon Forge put out the following statement describing the renaming of the parade:
“The Music in the Mountains Spring Parade will showcase the rich musical heritage of the Great Smoky Mountains while spotlighting the variety of entertainment provided by the many theaters located in the popular vacation destination. Theaters located throughout the city also will have the opportunity to give parade attendees a glimpse of their respective shows. Other familiar favorites will be featured as well. In recent years, Pigeon Forge has received an increased number of inquiries from high school bands seeking an opportunity to perform. The Music in the Mountains Spring Parade will provide an annual occasion for bands of all sizes from across the country to compete.”
Will Dolly even be IN the Parade?
This is getting asked a lot…and when the city was asked, their response was “Dolly always has a standing invitation to participate!”
So as of right now, it doesn’t look like she plans to be in the parade at all, but she can if she chooses. If we get word that she will be in the parade at all, we will post it on facebook, so be sure to like our facebook page!
Will Dolly be at Dollywood?
In years past, Dolly would visit Dollywood the day after the parade, and she would ride on a motorized carriage throughout the park around 4pm. It has not been announced whether or not she will be at the park this year. If we get official word from Dollywood, we will post it.
The new Music in the Mountains Spring Parade will be on May 4, 2018 at 6 p.m. on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
For information on how to participate in the parade, visit http://www.mypigeonforge.com/parade/
What are your thoughts?
Have you attended the annual Pigeon Forge Parade? What are your memories of seeing Dolly on her floats each year? Through great weather as well as rough weather, she has happily served as the Grand Marshal…what are your thoughts of her stepping down and having the parade renamed? Let us know in the comments below!