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After 32 Years, Cal Ripken Jr. to Replace Dolly Parton as Grand Marshal in Pigeon Forge Parade

After 32 Years, Cal Ripken Jr. to Replace Dolly Parton as Grand Marshal in Pigeon Forge Parade

After 32 years as grand marshal of Pigeon Forge’s annual Homecoming Parade, Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton is stepping aside for another Hall of Fame member, baseball’s Cal Ripken Jr.

This year’s parade, which will be re-branded as the Music in the Mountains Spring Parade, will take place on May 4. Cal will serve as the grand marshal.

“For 32 years, it’s been my honor and privilege to serve as the grand marshal,” said Dolly in a release. “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.”

Cal opened the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge in 2016,  a $22.5 million youth baseball facility.

“We want to thank Dolly for all that she has done, and we are so very grateful for the kindness and generosity she has shown to both our visitors and our residents,” said Pigeon Forge city manager Earlene Teaster in the release. “Given Pigeon Forge’s progress and unprecedented growth during the last three decades, both Dollywood and Pigeon Forge city officials recognized that we have so much to celebrate with our parade.”

Cal may be the “Iron Man” of baseball, but we doubt he can go 32 years.

Take a look at our photo gallery of Dolly as grand marshal over the years, courtesy of Tammie Arroyo, AFF-USA.com.