June 24, 2018 / 6:40 AM

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Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction Is Losing The 'Dixie'



Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner attraction is changing its name when it opens for the 2018 season.

The production team has decided to drop "Dixie," leaving the name simply as Dolly Parton's Stampede. The change was announced in a press release on Monday. Parton and World Choice Investments, LLC, which runs Parton's Stampede dinner shows, said the change reflects the company's desire to adhere to the changing world.

Parton added that the change is needed to identify with the location of the shows. Some samples of Parton's Stampede dinner shows 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," Parton said.

Jim Rule, CEO of World Choice Investments, added that Dolly Parton's Stampede is a result of guests' feedback.

"There is interest in several parts of the United States and internationally to host one of our unique dinner attraction shows. 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," Rule added in the press release.

According to the press release, the production team is hard at work updating the existing shows for 2018. Pete Owens, Dollywood's director of Media and Public Relations, said that Parton's Stampede shows are evaluated at the end of each season. It is then that decisions are made whether to add updates or make changes.

Owens mentioned that there will be changes and new additions to the show content this year, although he did not reveal any specifics. It is unclear if there will be any changes to the content of the live entertainment shows, which features heroic horsemanship to swashbuckling pirates.

In August, a piece about Parton's Stampede show in Pigeon Forge and Branson appeared on Slate. In the article, writer Aisha Harris called the show "the Lost Cause of the Confederacy meets Cirque du Soleil." She said the show never once mentioned slavery. Instead, it romanticizes the South. Harris compared it to Springtime for Hitler, the musical featured in The Producers. Owens responded to Harris' piece in September and assured that an evaluation will be made regarding her observation.

World Choice Investments operates Parton's Stampede dinner shows in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Branson, Missouri. The shows will resume late in January through early spring, depending on the location.

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