Pigeon Forge hosts the 29th Annual Dolly Homecoming Parade.
Locals and visitors alike will turn out in mass tomorrow for a spectacular parade to welcome Sevier County’s own Dolly Parton home.
The weather promises to be sunny and warm in Pigeon Forge as an expected 50,000 spectators line the Parkway to watch this year’s parade. In addition to seeing world-famous entertainer Dolly Parton as grand marshal, this year they will see more than 110 floats, bands, vehicles and organizations participating in the parade.
“Dolly’s Homecoming Parade is a rite of spring for us. We want to salute Dolly for the many wonderful contributions she makes to our community, and the parade lets fans shout out their support, too,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, which organizes the parade.
The parade will have a firefighting theme in celebration of Dollywood’s new FireChaser Express roller coaster, new this year at the theme park. Dolly will travel on her own FireChaser Express float. Pigeon Forge’s newest firefighting tool, a massive 100-foot ladder truck, will follow Dolly’s float and is sure to be a favorite of kids and adults who are kids at heart.
A special highlight will be an appearance by the 190-member Crossroads Christian Church Choir from Newburgh, IN, which will perform at Dollywood on Saturday. Also participating are marching bands from Pigeon Forge High School and Sevier County High School, Girl Scouts, Shriners, the Boys and Girls Club, Friends of the Smokies, veterans groups and twirling groups.
Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to attend.
“It’s a big parade with a small-town flavor and an international superstar in the lead float,” Downey said. “It’s quite an event.”
If you go, the Dolly Homecoming Parade kicks off Friday, May 2 at 6:00pm, beginning at Traffic Light 6 in Pigeon Forge and traveling north to Traffic Light 3. It is a free event, so arrive early to get a good spot along the Parkway parade route.
Photo courtesy of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.