Speaking with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, the country icon, 75, spoke about what it meant to see the theme park's staff back in action. "People always brag about the staff here at Dollywood," she told Roberts. "This is our 36th season, by the way. We've got all kinds of people that have been here from the very start. We're partners. That's the way I am with my band. We're just all partners here. It takes us all to make it work."
Since closing in March 2020, Dollywood has reopened on a limited basis and Parton stressed the importance of understanding the pandemic isn't over just yet. "I think it's amazing how our crew has done all the things that they've done," she explained. "The people here are like family, so any time you have a crisis of any kind you just kind of pull together and get it done. We're not out of it yet, but I can feel a new energy. We've got a lot of things to be thankful for."
Looking ahead, Dollywood is hosting its annual Flower & Food Festival between April 23 until June 7. The affair will see more than 500,000 flowers spread across the park, as well as a series of flower sculptures. The centerpiece is the Coat of Many Colors, which creatures a representation of Parton's late mother, Avie Lee, sewing together the article of clothing made famous in her hit, "Coat of Many Colors."
"I was real emotional and took a lot of pictures," Parton said of seeing the centerpiece for the first time. "I had seen the brochures of it and knew what it was supposed to be, but just seeing that whole thing ... and just having that big thing there that represents who I am as a person, who my parents were, and the kind of mother I was lucky enough to have."
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