Taking the "Dixie" out of Dixie Stampede stirs emotions among fans

# # State

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WYMT/WVLT) -- If you visit Pigeon Forge anytime soon, you might notice some big changes.

Dolly Parton’s World Choice Investments LLC., announced this week in a news release Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede will remove "Dixie" from the name.

“Our shows currently are identified by where they are located,”
Dolly said.
“Some examples are Smoky Mountain Adventures or Dixie Stampede. We also recognize that attitudes change and feel that by streamlining the names of our shows, it will remove any confusion or concerns about our shows and will help our efforts to expand into new cities.”

According to a release, the decision was made as demand grows for more venues worldwide.

“There is interest in several parts of the United States and internationally to host one of our unique dinner attraction shows,”
Jim Rule, World Choice Investments CEO, said.
“We provide spectacular family entertainment at a great value. We continually listen to our guests and our desire to expand coupled with our desire to stay relevant in today’s changing world led us to simplify our shows’ names.”

Officials said the existing locations re-open for the 2018 season from late January through early spring depending on location.

The name change has stirred emotions among fans of the show.

Kristina Davis, has worked across from the show for years at the Lodge Mill Creek. Davis told Local 8 News the name isn't a bad refection of the south.

"People might have some negative thoughts about the word 'dixie.' There's a battle of the north and south in there, but it can't be called Dixie Stampede?"
said Davis.
"I don't agree with it. I think it should stay Dixie Stampede, We're in the heart of dixie."

Local Zachary Dunn told Local 8 News if they are willing to drop the name dixie, there's probably a good reason.

"There's always a way to rebrand things, make it newer, make it appeal to a different public,"
said Dunn.
"If it means they're taking the name out to rebrand it and put it somewhere else, then I think that's a great idea because that means more people can see our culture and how fun it is to be in the south."