PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WJHL) – News Channel 11’s Josh Smith sat down with Dolly Parton for a one-on-one interview Friday.
Parton discussed topics such as her new HeartSong Resort and an upcoming Christmas project.
Parton was also awarded the Chestnut Conservation Champion Award by The American Chestnut Foundation which honors Bill Owens’s work helping the foundation as they worked toward creating a blight-resistant chestnut tree. The American Chestnut was almost eliminated in the early 1900s due to a fungal pathogen.
“My uncle Bill worked for decades with The American Chestnut Foundation to help their effort in creating a new tree that is blight resistant,” said Parton. “As a result of that work, he has been honored in a new documentary about the chestnut tree. To honor him, we have this beautiful hybrid chestnut tree on stage. We have some representatives from the foundation here as well.”
According to a release from Dollywood, the tree will be planted in a prominent place once the resort is completed.
During her interview, Parton also talked about Suite 1986, Parton’s tour bus which has been turned into a hotel suite.
“Well, I think people have always been curious, the general public, about what it would be like to travel on a tour bus, what’s it like living on a bus?” Parton said. “Well, I loved it! I’ve spent my life as a gypsy, and I always called that the gypsy wagon, but we are calling it Suite 1986 because that’s the year Dollywood opened.”
When asked, “what’s next for Dolly?” she responded that she is working on a new Christmas special that shows some of the behind the scene operations. Parton called the special “fun” and “uplifting” pointing out that it will be shown on NBC in December.