Dolly Parton's Tennessee theme park, Dollywood, has reopened on a limited basis after closing down when the pandemic began and is continuing with its various events, including the annual Flower & Food Festival, which runs through June 7. To celebrate the occasion, Parton appeared on Good Morning America live from Dollywood on Wednesday, performing her classic song "Coat of Many Colors."
It was a rainy day in Tennessee, and Parton perched under a gazebo for her performance, strumming a patchwork rainbow guitar covered in rhinestones. "My coat of many colors / That my momma made for me / Made only from rags / But I wore it so proudly," she sang. "Although we had no money / I was rich as I could be / In my coat of many colors / My momma made for me." "Coat of Many Colors" is a true story from Parton's youth about a coat that her late mother, Avie Lee, made for her, and the song title is also the name of the centerpiece of Dollywood's series of flower sculptures built to celebrate the park's annual Flower & Food Festival.
The centerpiece features a representation of Avie Lee sewing the titular coat, and Parton told Robin Roberts that she was "real emotional and took a lot of pictures" when she saw the sculpture for the first time. "I had seen the brochures of it and knew what it was supposed to be, but just seeing that whole thing ... and just having that big thing there that represents who I am as a person, who my parents were, and the kind of mother I was lucky enough to have," she said.
Reflecting on her coat of many colors, Parton shared, "That little coat has carried me so far, it's kind of like a little signature thing. My life has been a life of many colors, not just the coat. It's very significant to me, but just seeing that whole thing with mom sewing that just made me grateful."
Dollywood is currently in its 36th season and its namesake proudly declared that "People always brag about the staff here at Dollywood." Explaining that she views the parks' staff members as her partners, Parton said, "I think it's amazing how our crew has done all the things that they've done. The people here are like family, so any time you have a crisis of any kind you just kind of pull together and get it done."
The 75-year-old spent her 2020 "trying to lift people up and be spirited" and noted that "We're not out of it yet, but I can feel a new energy." Parton added, "We've got a lot of things to be thankful for."