Hillbilly eatin’, a show, North vs. South at Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, Tn [classic article]

I didn’t know what to expect at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN. I knew it was a dinner show of sort. Upon visiting the ladies’ room, the doors were marked “Northerners Only” and “Southerners Only”. I could imagine in my mind my dad asking in hushed tones, “Can they do that?” The War Between the States is set aside to make room for the War Between the Poles during Dixie Stampede’s Christmas show. I was glad to be hosted to be able to experience it!

Hostesses are dress in Civil War era garb and are most gracious. You’re ushered to a seat, stadium style and quickly find out that the theater is divided into two sections: for the holidays, you’re either “North Pole” and “South Pole”. You cheer and jeer at the appropriate times as horses, camels, donkeys, pigs and dancers strut their stuff.

Dinner is served in the darkened theater and just as you start looking for silverware, a song is sung by the performers. They explain, in hillbilly style, that you’re going to eat with fingers only. Servers bring your beverage in Mason jars. Then, a creamy vegetable soup — very popular with the Dolly Parton properties — is brought in a bowl with a handle. The soup was a white roux based, like a cream of mushroom soup.

Onto a plate, servers load a cheddar biscuit, a roasted potato half, a slice of moist smoked pork and a whole small roasted chicken. Really! You pick apart a whole chicken by yourself with your hands. It was tender and I’d guess seasoned with Lawry’s seasoning salt.

Dessert was a hot apple turnover.

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