Nashville, TN (Top40 Charts/ Hallmark Channel) - Hallmark Channel will honor a musical icon, Dolly Parton, and celebrate the anniversary of one of the country's most popular theme parks when it televises the Hallmark Channel Original Special, "Dolly Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood," Friday, July 3 (8 p.m./ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT). The one-hour special, presented exclusively on Hallmark Channel, features the 45-time Grammy nominee (seven wins) and Country Music
Hall of Fame inductee in a musical tribute taped at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN, and featuring some of the brightest stars in country music.
For the Hallmark Channel Original Special, Parton's guests will include Miley Cyrus
("The Last Song," "Hannah Montana
"), Billy Ray Cyrus
("Christmas in Canaan," Back to Tennessee), and multiple Grammy Award winner Kenny Rogers
(the Parton/Rogers hit Islands in the Stream remains the No 1 duet of all-time). The special also includes tributes for Dolly and Dollywood from friends - Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, and others.
Parton's former business advisors told her not to invest in an aging tourist attraction that had surely seen its glory days. But, in 1986, the irrepressible Parton did so anyway, partly out of reverence for her beloved Sevier County roots and a desire to enhance the local economy, but also because Dolly loves to share her Appalachian memories of the Great Smoky Mountains, her people and their heritage.Today, 25 years later, Dollywood has fulfilled Parton's dreams - and the dreams of many park-goers - while prompting more. Now the country music legend wants to share Dollywood's Silver Anniversary with the world.
Known as one of the most popular vacation destinations in America, Dollywood is also the recipient of more awards for live entertainment than any other theme park in the world. Dollywood is the predominant recipient of the industry's Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows and Best Christmas Event. The largest employer in Sevier County, the park features 10 distinctly themed areas, spans 150 acres, and plays hosts to four of the South's largest festivals each year. Dollywood boasts thrilling roller coasters, including Thunderhead, twice voted the world's best wooden coaster. Wagon making, blacksmithing and woodcarving are always on display courtesy of the dozens of master craftsmen. On March 29, Adventure Mountain, the $6 million challenge course (the nation's largest) opened in the park's Wildnerness Pass area.
Referring to the theme of Dollywood's 25th anniversary ("Celebrating the Dreamer in You," an anthem Parton wrote to commemorate the milestone) and of the TV special honoring it, Parton says, "I've always been a writer. My songs are the door to every dream I've ever had and every success I've ever achieved."