A native of the Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton is a life-long fan of everything this region represents. Born and raised here, she overcame extreme poverty by using her talents to become a superstar and legend of song and screen. While she is unquestionably the Smoky Mountain’s favorite daughter, what keeps her dear to all the residents is her open heart that is always extended to the area in which she grew up.
Parton put Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and other small towns on the map with the development of her enormous theme park, Dollywood. So there is little wonder that she was named an official ambassador of the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When she was approached by her creative team about presenting a different type of stage show at Dollywood that dealt with the history of the Smokies and the park, she jumped at the chance.
The show is called Sha-Kon-O-Hey! which is the phonetic spelling of the Cherokee word “shaconage.” It’s meaning? Land of blue smoke: very appropriate. Billed as “the most extravagant stage production in Dollywood’s history,” this performance will incorporate scenic and stage effects never before used at Dollywood.
You’ll travel back to the 1930s, peering through the eyes of a wise old storyteller who spins the tale of “a reluctant family as they bid farewell to the area that eventually becomes the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Along the way, audiences meet the folks who inhabited this great land – the settlers, the rail and lumbermen, the Native Americans and the shiners.”
Parton, herself, wrote eight new songs for this 45-minute, live production that will take place in Dolly Parton’s Celebrity Theatre at Dollywood. She also recorded each track on a commemorative CD that is being sold to benefit the Friends of the Smokies. This nonprofit group is devoted to protecting and promoting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through raising public awareness and funds. The cost is $10, of which $8 will go to support the Friends of the Smokies.
Entrance to the show is included with park admission. The show runs May 9, 2009 through October 31, 2009 and is sure to be an enormous hit.
Every season Dollywood and other attractions in and around the Smokies add new and imaginative activities for you and your family to enjoy. That – in addition to the huge selection of food and fun, the gorgeous scenery and more – is what makes the Smoky Mountains such a prime vacation spot for couples and families.
It’s an entire region filled with family-centric attractions. Stay in an authentic log cabin. Snow ski or hike massive mountains. From water parks to theme parks, there’s more than enough to thrill every member of your group. Before making your vacation decision, search online for “things to do in the Smokies.” You’ll quickly see that it will take multiple trips to experience it all.