"I've dreamed for many years of getting to come back [home] and bringing something back so you folks would know that I'm as proud of you as you've always been of me."
With those words and an impromptu performance of her hit, "9 to 5", Dolly Parton introduced the world to her newest project; Dollywood.
The newly revamped Pigeon Forge theme park officially opened its gates in May 1986 with a new name of "Dollywood" instead of "Silver Dollar City." The name-change reflected a new park co-ownership between Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment.
Thousands of people turned out for opening day which also included dozens of "meet & greets" with Parton. Although thousands of people traveled from across the country to attend, much of the crowd was comprised of locals, including Parton's mother.
Nearly 30 years later, Dolly Parton's namesake park now includes hundreds of year-round employees, a one-of-a-kind roller coaster and sister water park "Dollywood's Splash Country."
The memories of a Dollywood's opening day remains one of your "Straight from the Heart" Moments.