Dolly Parton Celebrated Dollywood’s 37th Season Welcoming Members to Park

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM)

Country music legend Dolly Parton was in East Tennessee yesterday (Friday) to welcome visitors to her theme park, Dollywood.

The world-class theme park that bears the superstar’s name opened its gate for its 37th season. As she always does, Dolly Parton helped patrons enjoy the experience by welcoming them into the Dollywood experience. The park opened to season pass holders on Friday and to the public on Saturday, Unfortunately, Pigeon Forge, where Dollywood calls home, was bombarded by a snowstorm early Saturday morning. While some plans may have been derailed by the snow, park-goers are still thrilled that the park is opened to the public once more.

As always, the extremely personable Dolly Parton put on a show for season pass holders. It was, however, the first time since 2019 that she has participated in the park’s opening ceremonies. With the COVID-19 pandemic hanging overhead in 2020 and 2021, the park had to adjust. With the pandemic now on the decline, Dolly Parton returned to what she loves doing most and that is entertaining her robust fan base.

A native of Sevierville, Tennessee, Dolly Parton is an East Tennessee native and loves spending time in the Great Smoky Mountains. During her Friday Dollywood appearance, she made several announcements and revealed future plans for herself and her park. She was even placed inside of a giant bubble by artist Melody Yang, whose “Gazillion Bubble Show: Aurora” returns to Dollywood this summer.

“I can’t believe it’s been over two years since the last time we’ve been together here at Dollywood,” she said. “It’s good to be on this stage again. I’ve missed seeing you and I’ve missed being here.”

Fans reciprocated the appreciation, giving the country star a huge ovation upon taking the stage at her theme park.

Dolly Parton Performs New Song to Kick Off 2022 Season

Dolly Parton also gave a special performance to open up the 2022 Dollywood season, singing “Big Dreams and Faded Dreams” for the audience. The song is from her new album, “Run, Rose, Run,” which accompanies the book of the same name that she co-authored with James Patterson. Parton gave attendees a little glimpse into just what the book is about.

It’s about a young girl who is running to something, but running from something,” she says.

Parton also notes that there could be a movie in the works and made clear that she would play one of the characters.

Dollywood is one of the most visited theme parks in the United States and features numerous thrilling roller coaster rides. The park also contains a water park, Splash Country, on its premises. With the success of the park’s DreamMore Resort, a new resort, HeartSong, is currently in the construction phase. As usual, the park has several events and festivals planned throughout the 2022 season.