Dolly Parton Shares Emotional Response to Being Back in Dollywood, Seeing Prep for ‘Flower and Food Festival’

by Jon D. B.

“It just made me so grateful.” Dolly Parton is finally able to be back at Dollywood, and her team has put together a remarkable tribute to her mother for the upcoming Flower and Food Festival – one that made the icon “really emotional.”

Courtesy of Good Morning America‘s latest interview with the one and only, we know exactly how moved Dolly Parton was once finally able to return to her beloved theme park, Dollywood.

“It’s last year since I was here! Since March,” the ever-lovely Dolly reveals to GMA‘s Robin Roberts. “We came up here last year to open a show – and that’s when they closed everything down,” she recalls of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s initial impact.

“We were going to have a big press conference, and we didn’t even get to have it! So I just walked [into Dollywood] and they said ‘No, we’re closed down, we’re having to lock down for a year,” Parton recalls of the strict safety guidelines of 2020.

Now, over a year later in May, Dolly Parton is finally able to return to her “home away from home”. And she’s ecstatic.

“This is my first time back! It’s exciting to see all the new things we’ve got,” she gestures for Roberts with a big grin. “We’ve got the Flower and Food Festival comin’, so, we’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for,” the icon adds, changing her tone to one of deep gratitude.

Dollywood’s Latest ‘Flower and Food Festival’ Display Made Dolly Parton ‘Really Emotional’

For said Flower and Food Festival, Dolly’s team put together a terrific tribute to her life. More specifically, Dollywood‘s incredible craftsmen & women put together a towering statue of her mother and Parton’s beloved “Coat of Many Colors” – entirely made out of flowers.

Upon seeing it for the first time, the icon had no words.

“I was really emotional,” Parton admits. “I took a lot of pictures! Because I have seen the brochures of it, and I knew what it was supposed to be. But just seeing that whole [flower display], knowing how my life has turned out… Thinking about my mom and having that big thing there that represents who I am as a person, and who my parents were… The kind of mother I was lucky enough to have,” she continues gently.

“That little coat has carried me so far,” she says of her favorite song and her life journey’s icon, her “Coat of Many Colors.”

“It’s very significant to me. Just seeing that whole thing with mom… It just made me so grateful,” she smiles, teary-eyed.

We’re grateful, too, Dolly, for the gift your mother gave all of us: You. For much, much more from the one and only Dolly Parton, check out the full interview courtesy of Good Morning America and Robin Roberts below:

From contributing to vaccine research at Vanderbilt University to reading bedtime stories to children through her Imagination Library, the singer has been a shining light during the pandemic.

Good Morning America