Terry Morrow: Dolly Parton to surprise audiences in Pigeon Forge

Dolly Parton will make appearances around Pigeon Forge starting today, but she won't say where. She wants her audiences to be surprised whenever she suddenly pops up.

Photo by Van Redin, © 2011 Gospel Truth Pictures, LLC

Dolly Parton will make appearances around Pigeon Forge starting today, but she won't say where. She wants her audiences to be surprised whenever she suddenly pops up.

PIGEON FORGE — Keep your eyes peeled for Dolly Parton, who is rumored to kick off a flurry of public appearances beginning today around here.

Though she's keeping where she's popping up a secret , she's supposed to do a song or two for audiences outside Dollywood.

Parton isn't announcing where she might be appearing tonight because she wants to surprise her audiences.

Meanwhile, she does have other, slightly more specific plans, that she's making known about the rest of her appearances for the weekend.

On Friday night, she's got the Dolly on Parade event.

Covering a three-mile route on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, the 27th annual Dolly's Homecoming Parade starts at 6 p.m. Friday.

Dozens of components will make up the lineup, with Parton acting as grand marshal.

"Dolly, of course, is the biggest attraction, and the theme of her float always is a secret," said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

Among other sites in the parade are the Smoky Mountain Submarine, a 65-foot-long replica that will carry veterans of submarine service, and a NASCAR race vehicle belonging to Knoxville native Trevor Bayne.

The parade will occupy the northbound lanes of the Parkway, starting at Traffic Light 6 and ending at Traffic Light 3.

The entire route is available for spectators. Parton's float includes a speaker system, and she chats with fans all along the parade route.

For information: visit MyPigeonForge.com or call 1-800-251-9100.

On Saturday, Parton will be turning up around Dollywood all day to surprise audiences.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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