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this day in history 1986

Dollywood theme park opens

Tennesseeing is Tenness-believing

So how exactly did Pigeon Forge get it’s name? Did they actually fuel their blacksmithing equipment by incinerating the unpopular urban bird? We may never know. But thankfully, that side of the Tennessee town has been erased from the history books, thanks to the efforts of one tiny, iconic country songstress. After stints as the slightly dodgy sounding Rebel Railroad and the quaint Silver Dollar City, Dolly Parton purchased a middling Southern theme park and rebranded it as Dollywood, which opened on this day in 1986.

People flocked to the park in order to enjoy its delightful, punny name for themselves, but then stayed for the mixture of thrill rides, theatrical occurrences and historical structures concerning the life of The Queen of Country Music. It was a brilliant business strategy. Now lovers of country and irony clog the Smokie Mountain resort in massive numbers. In fact its so successful, there is a sister waterpark called Splash Country and something titled Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction. Which sounds terrifying.

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