March 27, 2002
Pigeon Forge, TN -- Spring is here, and with it comes the "official" beginning of the tourist season in East Tennessee as Dolly Parton returns home to serve as the Grand Marshal of her "Chasing Rainbows" parade through Pigeon Forge on April 5 and open her Dollywood theme park on April 6.
The 2002 season at Dollywood features a brand new attraction - Adventures in Imagination, a $10 million addition that celebrates Dolly's lifetime of dreaming. The new area includes a newly constructed state-of-the-art experience called Chasing Rainbows, featuring interactive and "behind the scenes" collections, stories, and memorabilia from Dolly's life and career. The area also includes a new action simulator ride, Smoky Mountain Wilderness Adventure, which takes riders on a thrill-filled journey through the Smoky Mountains with Dolly as their guide; Inspirations, a shopping experience featuring unique inspirational merchandise; a fully operational donut factory; and a variety of other themed icon attractions.
Dollywood's second annual Festival of Nations is set for April 6 through May 12 and features international food and entertainment, and the park debuts a brand new country production show, Backstage Pass, on Memorial Day weekend. Dollywood is also adding three weekend-long events with a new Summer Fun Series featuring a bluegrass and clogging festival, a Children's Festival with a stage show presentation of Thomas and Friends (tm) - "All Aboard Tour," and a young Christians' weekend with performances by Rebecca St. James and Audio Adrenaline.