Dolly Should party like only Dolly could

From the dynamic duo responsible for Frieda Fest comes “Dolly Should,” a festival in downtown Bay St. Louis to celebrate all that is fabulous about Dolly Parton. Ann Madden and Sandy Maggio, owners of the gallery Smith & Lens, are bringing another round of iconic female fun to Bay St. Louis on January 9.

“If I hadn’t been a woman, I’d be a drag queen, for sure.” – Dolly

The question isn’t why hold a festival to celebrate Dolly Parton, but rather, what’s not to celebrate?

“I’m blown away by her incredible talent! Her life story on its own is so inspirational,” said Maggio.

“Not just starting with so little and achieving so much, but by choosing to bring her fame and fortune home, so that her community could benefit from it too. Then there’s the iconic looks! That face! The Hair, lipstick, sequins…geez the whole package. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photograph where she wasn’t smiling. That’s enough for me right there.”

by Ann Madden

by Ann Madden

For the event, Smith & Lens has curated a Dolly-themed art show and will be sponsoring the Dolly Look-A-Like contest.

If there’s anything we’ve collectively learned from Dolly, it’s that too much is never enough. The same may be said of this festival. The merchants of Old Town Bay have gathered their resources to provide festival attendees with everything from a 5K to a petting zoo. A variety of contests will be held including an edible sculpture contest, pie tasting and even a Dolly lip-syncing battle. Dolly Should will also include hay rides and various live musical acts at various venues throughout the day.

“Dolly embodies the Bay spirit – authentic kindness, loves to showcase her sparkle and doesn’t take herself too seriously,” said Alicein Wonderland Schwabacher, proprietor of the Mockingbird Café located on 2nd Street.

The Mockingbird will host live music on their outdoor stage, showcasing songs from Dolly’s repertoire.

To pay tribute to Dolly’s altruistic nature, the merchants have decided the festival will include “A Coat of Many Colors” winter coat drive as well as provide “little free libraries” scattered throughout Old Town where festival goers may donate or take used books. The local running club is presenting the 5K, “Books, Boots and Boobs,” where participants are encouraged to dress in costume for the run with the proceeds being donated to the local library for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (a nonprofit began by Ms. Parton to “foster a love of reading among preschool children.”)

“Who doesn’t love Dolly? She is as funny as she is talented as she is tough and she is a good person on top of all of it,” said Ann Madden. “Plus, she’s not pretending that she hasn’t had work done. I adore her.”

For a complete schedule and listing of events, follow Smith & Lens on Facebook.


Dolly Should
January 9, 2016
Festivities kick off at 2 p.m.
Old Town Bay St. Louis

Written by

Jane Clair was born, bred and bred her own in the heart of the Pine Belt. She recently moved to Pass Christian to get a step closer to her ambition of calling a boat “home” and for the ataraxia that comes with soaking in the salty air. An ardent supporter of all arts, she enjoys exploring in search of the next piece to add to their collection, the latest culinary feat, or to catch a live show. Having near grown children seeking their autonomy, she’s enjoying her own working with the Pass Christian Theatre Project, concocting delectable libations to add to her box of party tricks and picking up a variety of new habits, err, hobbies. Follow her on Instagram @janeclair.

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