For over 25 years, the people of the Smoky Mountains have honored our most famous daughter with a parade in honor of her career, accomplishments and contribution to the area. After visiting in March to open Dollywood for the 2014 season, Dolly Parton will return to the Smoky Mountains this spring as Grand Marshal to her very own Pigeon Forge parade, the Annual Dolly Homecoming Parade.
To celebrate Parton and all the wonders of summer, Smoky Mountain Outdoors’ official parade otters, Eddy and Betty, are ready to help us kick-off the season on the Fun on the River float.
When you see our otters, be sure to give them a great big wave!
(See Also: Have It All in a Smoky Mountain Vacation)
Parade Information and Tips
No one represents the Great Smoky Mountains better than Dolly Parton. Our hometown girl has always been proud of her mountain heritage and returns to the area several times each year to visit her Pigeon Forge theme park and participate in the parade.
The Dolly Homecoming Parade is set to begin at 6:00pm on May 2. Included in the parade line-up are the usual marching bands, entertainers, floats, baton twirlers and horses. What sets this parade apart is the Grand Marshal herself.
Dolly Parton is guaranteed to draw a crowd. Parade organizers expect there to be upwards of 50,000 people lining the streets of downtown Pigeon Forge, so we recommend you get there early for a prime view of the entertainers and country music star.
To find the perfect spot, you should know the route begins around traffic light #7 and continues to traffic light #3. The parade takes up all northbound lanes, so be sure to remember that if you plan to travel anywhere in Pigeon Forge that evening.
More Fun in the Smoky Mountains
While in the area, Dolly almost always makes a stop at her theme park, Dollywood. She usually takes two park tours while visiting, so if you’re in the park, watch for a roped off path. That is usually the indicator you can catch her on a carriage ride tour.
When you want to get away from the crowds at the Pigeon Forge parade and theme park, Smoky Mountain Outdoors invites you to take a ride down the river with us during one of our Gatlinburg whitewater rafting adventures. This wet and wild trip takes rafters down the Pigeon River and through some of the most scenic areas in the Great Smoky Mountains.
In May, you can expect to see to bright wildflower blossoms along the banks, along with wildlife roaming in the cool of the day. No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll enjoy views of nature that you can’t find anywhere else. Call today at (800) 771-7238 to book your rafting trip with Smoky Mountain Outdoors.