Promoting her home – the Great Smoky Mountains – brought Dolly Parton to the nation's capital region last week, and one appearance left those gathered at the Gaylord National Resort outside of Washington ready to head down for some Southern hospitality. She was there as part of the state tourism department's Tennessee Sampler 2009 trade show aimed primarily at tour organizers and travel writers.
Following remarks by Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker and Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson, Dolly came on stage to capture the audience's attention in her version of a park ranger uniform, given her role to promote the National Park’s anniversary.
"I'm very honored to be the international ambassador for the 75th anniversary of the Smoky Mountains National Park," she said when she took to the stage.
She answered several questions from the crowd, including confirmation that she plans to visit Dollywood during KidsFest this summer, but she said there are no benefit concerts planned there for 2009. She also addressed favorite memories growing up (the beautiful environment in the Smokies that surrounded them), her Imagination Library, how she came to write the music for “Sha-Kon-O-Hey!” (the director, Paul Crouch, told her what types of songs he wanted and she sat down over the course of a few days and wrote them) and how she maintains her privacy ("Well, I already told everything! I've been around so long I can't image anything people don't know.").... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.