In the 30 years since its grand opening, Dolly Parton's theme park has brought millions of visitors to her central Tennessee hometown.
One of Dolly Parton's most challenging projects has become one of her biggest successes.
Her theme park, Dollywood, was created to celebrate of her hometown in the Smoky Mountains of Sevierville, Tennessee. Along with fun and exciting rides, Parton built areas for woodworking, glass-blowing and other crafts popular in the area's early days. The park has over 3,000 employees and welcomes 2.5 million visitors each year. To mark the park's 30th year of operation, Parton wanted to celebrate both the park and the visitors who helped the attraction grow to what it is today.
"For the 30th anniversary, we thought we would just celebrate all of the things that we've done through the last 30 years and just play those up," Parton said, according to the Tennessean. "Then add the little special treats and things we have for the guests."
To celebrate the park's big milestone, Parton decided to add 30 new attractions to the park, including many new rides and live shows, during its anniversary year. The biggest addition is the DreamMore Resort, which opens in July and is located on 100 acres adjacent to the theme park.
The park will also hold a "Showcase of the Stars," featuring concerts from big name artists, including Parton's longtime friend Kenny Rodgers. Parton hopes to raise $1 million for her childhood literacy nonprofit organization, Imagination Library, through the park's concert ticket sales.
Parton is still appreciative and thankful for the park's long term success. "I've always said that dreams come true, but they come false as well. To be here 30 years later, just growing and adding new things every day is amazing."
You can find out more about Dollywood at the theme park's website.