The Great Smoky Mountains national park could not have picked a better ambassador for their 75th anniversary than local celebrity and philanthropist Sevierville Tennessee's own Dolly Parton.
Most anyone who thinks about the Smoky Mountains thinks about Dolly Parton as the face of the Smokies and as the official Park's 75th Anniversary Ambassador, Dolly's name and her image will be used at a variety of GSM National Park events, activities and on informational media.
According to Dolly Parton "The Smokies are part of my DNA...I have always been an Ambassador, but I am particularly honored to become "official" for this special 75th Anniversary."
Getting Dolly Parton to be the Ambassador was an obvious choice and the announcement of Dolly Parton being the ambassador for the Great Smoky Mountains national park was made by the superintendent Dale Ditmanson who stated "When we first sat down with our park partners and began brainstorming about how the Park's anniversary could best gain national stature we asked ourselves: ’If we could pick one person who is the most recognized and personifies the love of the Smokies, who would it be?’ The answer was a resounding ’Dolly Parton!’ But she's so much in demand; do you think she'll do it?"
If Dolly's participation was not enough, Dolly Parton has graciously written an entire album entitled "Sha-Kon-O-Hey" and the rights of this album are being donated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through the Friends of the Smokies during the 75th anniversary year. Bravo!
"Sha-Kon-O-Hey" is the phonetic spelling for the Cherokee word, "Shaconage" which is how the Cherokee described the Great Smoky Mountains translated as "Land of the Blue Smoke". Shaconage is also the name of the Friends of the Smokies publication.
Another great organization which Your Smokies supports which helps the park: The Great Smoky Mountains Association will be offering a 125 page souvenir 75th Anniversary edition of Smokies Life magazine will find a personal message from Dolly Parton that reads "The Smoky Mountains have inspired me and my music since I was a little girl. They touch my soul and lift my spirits. Let's celebrate America's most popular national park, but most especially, join me in making sure its magnificent beauty thrives for generations to come."
Bravo on the choice Dale, bravo on bringing it together Friends of the Smokies, and Dolly - no one will ever be more Sweetheart of the Smokies than you are!