A photo of Dolly Parton and the logo for Dolly Parton's Pure & Simple Dinner Show.

Dolly Parton Moving Home to Star in Pigeon Forge Dinner Show

We are very excited to report that after 54 years away, Dolly Parton is moving home to the Smoky Mountains! Dolly’s return to the Smokies will include a musical residency at a brand new theater in Pigeon Forge, TN. The legendary singer-songwriter broke the big news in a press release, which she shared via Twitter this morning. We have summarized the official announcement below.

A tweet from Dolly Parton about her return home.A Long-Planned Homecoming

In the press release, Dolly explains what drew her back to the Great Smoky Mountains:

“I left for Nashville when I was 18 years old, the day after I graduated from high school. But I always told myself that one day, after I’ve made it, I’ll come back home to be with my people. Now that it’s been more than 50 years, Carl and I figured this is the time to make the move. Lord knows we’re not getting any younger!”

Dolly was born and raised in a two-room cabin in Sevier County, TN, the fourth of 12 children. She moved to Nashville in 1964 to pursue her music career and met her future husband, Carl Dean, on her very first day in town. The couple currently resides in Brentwood, TN, a suburb of Nashville.

An advertisement for Dolly Parton's Pure & Simple Dinner Show.Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Dinner Show

Although Dolly recently celebrated her 72nd birthday, she has no intention of retiring. After moving back to the Smoky Mountains, the Queen of Country will star in Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Dinner Show, a new attraction on the Pigeon Forge Parkway. The show takes its name from Dolly’s 2016 album Pure & Simple and the accompanying North American tour.

Dolly told the media that the idea for her new dinner show came from Bruce Springsteen’s concert residency on Broadway:

“I went to see Springsteen on Broadway, and I said, ‘Oooh, this is what I want to do!’ It was just him on stage with his guitar, singing songs and telling stories five nights a week. He didn’t have to be held up in his tour bus, he just stayed put at one theater. I thought, ‘This would be perfect for when we move home.’”

Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Dinner Show will trace the arc of Dolly’s life, from her humble beginnings growing up in Locust Ridge, TN, to her emergence as an international superstar. Dolly will tell her life story through her hit songs like “Coat of Many Colors” and “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” along with anecdotes and live readings of old diary entries. Parton will perform her songs in the same stripped-down, acoustic style she employed for her highly successful Pure & Simple tour.

Of course, Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Dinner Show will serve guests a mouthwatering home cooked meal. As explained in the press release, the phrase “pure and simple” will apply to both the show’s music and food. Fitting with the show’s intimate nature, the menu at Pure & Simple will include Dolly’s own family recipes for chicken fried steak, candied yams, banana pudding, and other Southern favorites.

Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Dinner Show is the latest addition to Parton’s entertainment empire in Pigeon Forge. The new attraction joins two other dinner shows, Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures, and the world-famous Dollywood theme park.

The logo for Dolly Parton's Imagination Station.Dolly Parton Planning More Attractions in Pigeon Forge

In addition to the big announcement about Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Dinner Show, the press release also included a five-year plan briefly detailing a number of other Dolly-branded attractions that are under development in Pigeon Forge. Here is what visitors to the Smokies can expect to see in the coming years:

• Dolly Parton’s Imagination Station – Using state of the art virtual reality headsets, guests at the Imagination Station will be able to soar with butterflies, slide down rainbows, and insert themselves into scenes from the hit movie 9 to 5.

• Dolly Parton’s Poetry Slam – Guests at this attraction will have the chance to compete in a juried poetry slam competition. Professional rappers and poets will coach participants before they perform an original work before a live audience. “I love writing lyrics and poetry,” said Parton, “so a poetry slam attraction just seemed like a natural fit.”

• Dolly Parton’s Ultimate Fighting Championship – Parton has partnered with UFC to bring some of the world’s best mixed martial arts fighters to Pigeon Forge for a series of high-octane grudge matches. As Dolly explains, “I grew up wrestling and fighting with my brothers and sisters, so I’ve always been a huge MMA fan.”

For the latest updates on these new attractions in Pigeon Forge, don’t check back here. This entire story has been an April Fools’ Day joke! Unfortunately, Dolly Parton doesn’t have any plans to move back to the Smokies (that we know of), and all of the shows and attractions mentioned in this blog are completely made-up. However, there are plenty of exciting new development projects that are actually underway in Pigeon Forge, including Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud, the Mountain Mile shopping complex, and a 5-acre expansion at Dollywood. To start planning your next vacation, browse our selection of cabins in Pigeon Forge!