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RICKY SKAGGS, DAILY & VINCENT OPEN DOLLYWOOD’S 16-DAY BARBEQUE & BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL ON MAY 26

   PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.—Award-winning bluegrass artists Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and Dailey & Vincent headline the opening weekend of Dollywood’s 16-day Barbeque & Bluegrass festival on Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27.

   “Who better than Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder to get my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival started! I have a truly special love for bluegrass music, and I’ve invited the very best pickers and singers to perform this year. Having had the privilege to sing with so many of ‘em, I know what a musical treat this is going to be,” Dolly Parton said.

   A bluegrass who’s who performs throughout the event which features 250 free concerts in six venues throughout the park. Other headliners are:

  • Kenny & Amanda Smith—May 28
  • Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out—May 28 & 29
  • Jerry Butler & the Blu Js—May 29
  • The Gibson Brothers—May 30
  • The Roys –May 30 & 31
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver—May 31 & June 1
  • Rhonda Vincent & The Rage—June 1 & 2
  • Marty Raybon—June 2 & 3
  • Balsaam Range—June 3 & 4
  • Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper—June 4 & 5
  • J.D. Crowe & The New South—June 5 & 6
  • The Larkins—June 6-8
  • The Grascals—June 7-8
  • Riders In The Sky—June 9 & 10
  • The Expedition Show—June 9 & 10

   For a complete lineup of concert performances and showtimes, please visit www.dollywood.com.

   The Singing News and The WDVX stages return this year. Bluegrass-gospel music fills The Singing News stage with a lineup of artists whose songs highlight the strong ties between the two genres. East Tennessee’s own WDVX, a listener-supported community radio station, brings a roster of talented pickers to Dollywood’s Back Porch Theatre.

   The festival’s other star, barbecue, is abundant as restaurants throughout Dollywood showcase special dishes. In the park’s Market Square area, barbecue options include chicken, pulled pork, smoked sausage, and ribs by the half or whole slab. A variety of platters with various meat combinations are offered, all served alongside baked beans, potato salad, a pickle spear and a slice of white bread.        

   To add to the fun, daily chef demonstrations offer helpful “’que tips” from the Fountain Stage. The competition heats up at daily cobbler eating contests, too.

   Barbeque & Bluegrass continues through June 10. Dollywood’s operating hours vary. Summertime entertainment also includes KidsFest, June 22 through July 29, with special family entertainment—Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, The Gazillion Bubbles Show and Penguin Group (USA) presents Dolly's Imagination Playhouse featuring The Penguin Players.

   Dollywood was recognized in 2010 with the theme park industry’s most prestigious honor, the Applause Award, in recognition of a park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development.

               Based in the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park which operates nine months a year (late March through December) and offers more than 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region, and Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. A family-friendly vacation destination, Dollywood also includes the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country, voted America’s “Must-See Waterpark.” Dollywood offers all-inclusive vacation planning with a variety of overnight lodging options. For more information,

call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com.   

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Media: Contact Dollywood Public Relations Manager Pete Owens at 865-428-9486, 865-755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com for B-roll, photography and more information. Check the Dollywood Press Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room.aspx for updates and new images