Dancin' at Dolly's house: Dollywood Clogging Classic 2017, PART ONE

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Fancy Free Cloggers were on the road again last weekend with a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to compete in the Dollywood Clogging Classic! Added bonus: Dolly was in town!!!

I had the pleasure of making this road trip with Jim, our 94-year-old clogger. He is a hoot! We of course sang the chorus of "Rocky Top" when we passed those exits. (I suspect Jim turned off his hearing aids when this happened...) We also made a game of counting Cracker Barrel restaurants; they are EVERYWHERE as you approach the Pigeon Forge area!

Jim and I left Ohio early Friday morning to be sure we arrived before Dolly's homecoming parade. The rainy weather helped us secure front row viewing spots.

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The skies had the audacity to rain on Dolly's parade, but Dolly had the situation under control with her covered float perch.

(Photo by Pat - thanks! WAY better than mine.)

(Photo by Pat - thanks! WAY better than mine.)

We heard the unmistakable sound of clogging taps coming up the street and were delighted to see friends from South Carolina dancing in the parade. We shared a show rehearsal time with the Hotfoot Cloggers at Encore earlier this year. 

Jim jumped to his feet and joined in the fun as Hotfoot clogged by!

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Many an umbrella met this fate during the parade, mine included. C'est la vie!

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Fancy Free Cloggers didn't dance in the competition until Sunday, so Saturday was a free day to explore Dollywood. SPOILER ALERT: This pic from the hotel lobby is the closest I got to a photo with Dolly herself.

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I slept in, purchased a new umbrella, and headed to the park. Thrill rides aren't my thing, but there was still plenty to see and do and eat! Tiger butter fudge, anyone?

As expected, this shop featured rhinestones, fringe, and fitted jackets galore!

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A stop by Celebrity Theatre revealed clogging competition in full swing on the huge stage!

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A group from Fancy Free Cloggers finished the evening with dinner at the Apple Barn in Sevierville. The table behind photobombed us with their baby! (Look closely between Evie and Stephanie.)

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A fun time was had by all, and we haven't even clogged yet, except for Jim's impromptu parade performance! Details of FFC's competition day will follow in next week's post. 

Congrats to all the winners of this year's Dollywood Clogging Classic! Thank you to the folks who work hard to make this event happen!

What's YOUR favorite thing about Dollywood?