Dolly Parton Drops “Dixie” From Stampede Show
Dolly Parton Drops “Dixie” From Stampede Show
The Civil War is being fought in Social Media as Dolly Parton has announced that she will drop “Dixie” from the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show to erase concern and confusion. Within minutes Facebook and Twitter were both filled with threats of boycotts.
In case you do not follow family fun and entertainment of the mountain peoples of the United States. Once upon a time, there was a small amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee just before the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg. The amusement park was called Rebel Railroad, then Goldrush Junction, then Silver Dollar City. The only thing that changed with each iteration was the bad hombres who attacked the train. First Yankees, then native peoples and finally, train robbers. I know this from personal experience.
Dolly Parton bought the railroad attraction in the mid-eighties and expanded it. And, expanded it. Dolly has Dolly’s Splash Country water park, Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner Show and Dixie Stampede Dinner Show. Dolly Parton, through amusement venues, has provided jobs at every skill level for East Tennessee mountain people and, through her foundation, Imagination Library, literacy opportunities for children all over the United States. Dolly Parton is not only an international movie star, recording artist, songwriter, author and entrepreneur, she is a personal hero to many people here in East Tennessee.
In case you don’t know what the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show is, think Medieval Times, here is a video and I do suggest you watch this one.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported yesterday that the “Dixie” in the Dixie Stampede Dinner Show is being dropped. The show will now be called Dolly’s Stampede. According to the statement from World Choice Investments CEO Jim Rule:
“There is interest in several parts of the United States and internationally to host one of our unique dinner attraction shows,” said Jim Rule, World Choice Investments CEO, in the press release. “We provide spectacular family entertainment at a great value. We continually listen to our guests, and our desire to expand coupled with our desire to stay relevant in today’s changing world led us to simplify our shows’ names.”
And, the statement put out under the “name” of Dolly Parton, as printed in the Knoxville News Sentinel, read:
“Our shows currently are identified by where they are located,” Parton said in the news release. “Some examples are Smoky Mountain Adventures or Dixie Stampede. We also recognize that attitudes change and feel that by streamlining the names of our shows, it will remove any confusion or concerns about our shows and will help our efforts to expand into new cities.”
I used to be a huge Dolly Parton fan. She lost me at the 2017 Emmy Awards, when she stood there, like a Kewpie doll, between Lily Tomlin and “Hanoi” Jane Fonda while they threw barbs at President Trump, without naming him, naturally. Your silence was your consent, Miss Parton. Remember this:
Late last night, I perused the WBIR Facebook page to see what the local gentry were saying about Dolly’s Stampede.
Here are my thoughts. Dolly Parton, Patron Saint of East Tennessee, doesn’t have anything to do with the operation of Dixie Stampede or Dolly’s Stampede. World Choice Investments makes the decisions and the corporation writes the statements under Dolly’s name.
The name change is about homogenization, or making everything uniform, to build on and expand the brand. For example, when you go into a McDonald’s franchise in Kalamazoo, Michigan, it’s the exact same concept as the McDonald’s franchise in Oxnard, California and, except for the shrimp burger, the same in Tokyo, Japan. Homogenized for your comfort. It astounds me when people go to a new town or state and go to Applebee’s. Not that there is anything wrong with Applebee’s. But, they are all the same.
Building the brand and exporting Dolly’s Stampede around the world will provide jobs at every level for many more people.
And, I hate it.
My son, his bride and their daughter went last year and loved the show. The Dixie Stampede was a romanticized version of the Civil War also known at the Late Unpleasantness. The Union and Confederate military personnel do not lose limbs, there is no disease and slavery is not mentioned. When people go to Medieval Times Dinner Show, there are no starving serfs and no plague. There are wenches and jousting. It is a romanticized version of a pretty horrible time to live.
I live in Dixie. I live below the Mason Dixon line. I know that Dixie probably comes from Yankees making fun of the New Orleans Ten Pound note that bore the word “Dix” on it. There is more to Dixie than the Civil War. It’s not about racism, bigotry or prejudice. It’s about each part of the United States having shared values but it’s own culture. The culture of New England, and the culture of the Western States are beautiful and important and I hate the homogenization of our culture.
And, I just can’t imagine anyone clamoring to go see Dolly’s Stampede. That’s just all kinds of wrong. It’s not a brand. It’s bland.