Dolly Parton Makes Her First Return, Post-Vaccination, To Dollywood
If needing proof that the proverbial Earth is healing, Dolly Parton has finally returned to Dollywood.
After noting in early March that she would return to the park after full vaccination, following her April 2 dose of the Moderna vaccine, she joined Good Morning America host Robin Roberts from the theme park on May 12 also in conjunction with the theme park's April 23 to June 7 Flower and Food Festival.
During her visit, the acclaimed performer and entrepreneur performed her 1971 hit, “Coat of Many Colors,” while also -- during her interview with Roberts -- discussed Dollywood’s return after a year of COVID-19 restrictions. After closing in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, the park opened with limited capacity and restrictions. Overall, regarding the scenario, Parton noted, “I think it’s amazing how our crew has done all the things that they’ve done.”
The Flower and Food Festival is a signature Dollywood event featuring the park being decorated with 500,000 flowers, including a sculpture of the Coat of Many Colors. Upon viewing the sculpture, Parton noted that she was "emotional" seeing the sculpture for the first time. “That little coat has carried me so far, it’s kind of like a little signature thing,” Parton offered.
Noting that she views the park’s employees "as members of her family," she continued, “This is our 36th season, by the way. We’ve got all kinds of people that have been here from the very start. We’re partners. That’s the way I am with my band. We’re just all partners here. It takes us all to make it work.”