WOW – we didn’t see this coming and we’re not sure if anyone did, but this Spring there will be a brand new grand marshal for the annual May parade in Pigeon Forge as well as a new name for the event.
It will be called “Music in the Mountains Spring Parade” and the new grand marshal is… Mr. Cal Ripken Jr. himself!
A press release, as reported by knoxnews.com, has this to say:
“After 32 years, officials from the city of Pigeon Forge and Dollywood theme park announced that they want to provide an opportunity for a new grand marshal to preside over Pigeon Forge’s annual springtime parade, previously known as the Homecoming Parade.”
From Dolly Parton’s own release:
“For 32 years, it’s been my honor and privilege to serve as the grand marshal. In that time, Pigeon Forge has grown so much and so many new businesses and attractions have come to town, everyone agrees that this is the perfect time for me to step aside and share the spotlight with some other folks. Dollywood has hogged the spotlight long enough!”
Definitely a torch-passing moment if there ever was one for Pigeon Forge and Cal Ripken Jr. is definitely a surprising choice, but one that can easily be as interesting and as full of potential as much of the rest of the developments and changes coming to the Smokies. Cal Ripken Jr. became a famous baseball player for a very good reason – he broke Lou Gehrig’s record of consecutive baseball games played by over 20%. Lou Gehrig finished his career with 2,130 games and Ripken finished with 2,632 games spanning 16 years.
The new parade will be scheduled for May 4th, 2018 and begin at 6:00PM on the Pigeon Forge parkway. More news and surprises on that may be announced as time goes on.