If you’re down there and have time, go visit the Dixie Stampede. It’s sort of a Medieval Times does the Civil War also owned by Dolly Parton. It’s kinda stupid, but amusing.
Oh, I know all about the Dixie Stampede. I mean, do you really think I need convincing with an attraction that can be described as “dinner theater with dancing horses*”?
The summer between junior and senior years of college, when I interned at Varese Sarabande, I drove from Cambridge, MA to Los Angeles, CA with two friends on an eleven-day journey that took us to Gatlinburg, TN, the town neighboring Pigeon Forge (where Dolly owns everything). We were so excited to visit Dollywood, and so crushed that tickets cost (at the time) $44. That seemed like a lot of money to someone heading west for an unpaid internship.
Having been disappointed by the price of Dollywood, we headed over to Dolly’s Dixie Stampede as a consolation prize… and found it was just as far out of our price range. Dolly and I were in a fight for quite a few years after that.
We had a great time in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge anyway, enjoying the board walk and especially the Comedy Barn. I don’t remember anything of the Comedy Barn’s mainstage show, but the pre-show featured the students of a local clog dancing school — there must have been 30 ten-year-old girls and one boy on stage doing their thing. They were amazing, for both the right and the wrong reasons. Had my friends and I any ambition, we would have created a poignantly hilarious independent movie based on those kids called Cloggin’. Some day maybe…
* except at Christmas, when it can be described as “dinner theater with dancing camels.”